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

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

Biography / Autobiography   eBook Favourites   

Sue Baker's view...

Brian Thompson charts the north face of love, his beloved wife dead before him and now alone he contemplates the life he had and has with and without her. Both writers and teachers Brian Thompson and Elizabeth North were together for half his lifetime and his recollections and memories are distilled into this short book, a most moving portrait of living, ageing and dying.

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Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo 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.
~ Amanda Hodges


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

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.

Browse inside this book


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

About the Author

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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Book Info

Publication date

3rd July 2014


Brian Thompson

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Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


224 pages


Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites




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