A Corner of Paradise A Love Story (with the Usual Reservations)

by Brian Thompson

Biography / Autobiography eBooks of the Month

A Corner of Paradise A Love Story (with the Usual Reservations) Synopsis

In 1973, Brian Thompson kissed the impossibly glamorous Elizabeth North for the first time, in a busy supermarket car park along the Leeds ring road. This is the story of the unexpectedly joyous consequences - ones to baffle many, not least themselves - until her death, aged 78. Both were writers, though very different in ambition and achievement. They came from opposite ends of the social register - she an Admiral's daughter, he the descendant of unruly Cockney eccentrics. She was by nature a solitary (though one with four children). He was loud, incurably facetious - and needy. 'It's you and me, girl. It's only ever about you and me,' he once told her much too fervently. 'Yes,' she replied with her biting honesty. 'Yes - with the usual reservations.' From a tiny Harrogate terrace, to the deeply un-picturesque French farmhouse where they spent their summers, Brian and Liz battled their way to a heartrending goodbye in an Oxford hospital ward. In many ways, their partnership was 'an exercise in asymmetry' - yet, despite the conflicts, they emerge in this deeply-felt memoir as a couple who were lucky enough to find their corner of paradise in one another.

The Good Book Guide Review

They say that opposites attract, and so it was for writers Brian Thompson and Elizabeth North who first cemented their fledgling relationship with a kiss in a busy supermarket car park back in 1973. The ups and downs of their subsequent life together with its many joys and inevitable frustrations is chronicled by Thompson in a poignant, wry and deeply honest memoir, laced with a deliciously self-deprecating wit. Elizabeth was an admiral’s daughter, happiest when solitary, Brian a gregarious and more ebullient character. As a couple they may have represented ‘an exercise in asymmetry’, but what emerges most clearly is how exceptionally fortunate they were to find their own nirvana within each other’s arms.

A Corner of Paradise A Love Story (with the Usual Reservations) Press Reviews

A joyous, life-and-love-affirming account of his unconventional relationship with fellow writer Elizabeth (Liz) North... Thompson writes with wit and precision about these small things, the eccentricities in other people that mark them apart and bring them to life... This book is about the ordinariness and singularity of being in love -- Rachel Joyce The Times


As he proved before with his previous books Keeping Mum and Clever Girl, Thompson is a terrific memoirist - wry, vivid and with one eye trained unforgivingly on his own failings... A beautifully written, deeply affecting book -- John Preston Daily Mail


As a portrait of a marriage through middle years and into the endgame, it is movingly particular and universal -- Peter Stanford Independent Good books about being old but feeling young are rare and this is one. Brian Thompson knows how to keep the reader reading -- Ysenda Maxtone Graham Spectator

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780099581864
Publication date: 03/07/2014
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780099581864
Publication date: 3rd July 2014
Author: Brian Thompson
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 224 pages
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites,
Categories: Memoirs,

About Brian Thompson

Brian Thompson has written for the stage, radio, television, and is the author of four novels. He divides his time between Oxford, England, and the South of France.

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