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Helen Slavin was born in Heywood in Lancashire in 1966. She was raised by eccentric parents on a diet of Laurel and Hardy, William Shakespeare and the Blackpool Illuminations. Educated at her local comp her favourite subjects at school were English and Going Home.
After The University of Warwick she worked in many jobs including, plant and access hire, a local government Education department typing pool, and a vasectomy clinic. A job as a television scriptwriter gave her the opportunity to spend all day drinking tea, living in a made-up fantasy world and getting paid for it (sometimes). A paragliding Welsh husband and two children have since distracted her and given her ample opportunity to spend all day drinking tea, nagging about homework and washing pants for England. In the wee small hours she still keeps a bijou flat in that fantasy world of writing.
When not working with animals and striving for world peace, Helen enjoys the music of Elbow and baking bread. Her favourite colour is purple and if she had to be stranded on a desert island with someone it would be Ray Mears ( alright, George Clooney is very good looking but can he make fire with a stick? No. See?)
She now lives, with her family, in Trowbridge, Wiltshire where, when sheâ€™s not writing, sheâ€™s asleep. Or in Tescos.
A charming book with gentle humour and lots of heart. Itâ€™s no spooky ghost story, just the tale of a woman who can do something most people cannot, communicate with the dead. We follow her search for a purpose and an emotional home. Light and easy, itâ€™s a joy to curl up with. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Similar this month: None. Comparison: Alice Sebold, Ben Sherwood, Hilary Mantel.
A librarian becomes obsessed with a coworker's secrets in this compelling psychological thriller from ';a highly original talent' (Beryl Bainbridge). Ruby Robinson drifts through life stacking shelves at the libraryquiet, solitary, invisible. Invisibility makes it easier to notice things, though, and Ruby has always valued the importance of knowledge. She watches the world go by from her place amongst the bookshelves. The bored students, the domestic dramas, and her colleague Marthavivacious, wild, enchanting. Drawn in by Martha's light, Ruby finds herself watching, observing ... which is how she spots the cracks in Martha's shiny new relationship before anyone else. An unsettling feeling. A flinch. Forced to intervene, Ruby is drawn out of the shadows. But all actions have consequences, particularly for someone with a past she'd rather forget ... The Stopping Place is a smart, suspenseful tale by an author who ';reels you in, teases you and rewards you' (The Scotsman).