July 2016 Debut of the Month.
Wife. Mother. Spy. The publisher’s blurb tells us. Now Laura just wants a ‘a quiet life’ and so we follow her to that conclusion. As a young American woman just before World War II she meets a working-class English communist on the boat to London and somewhat hero-worships her, absorbing her beliefs. Laura’s privileged English cousins with whom she stays also influence her as they are set on a good time even into the early war years. Part of this set is Edward, who works for the Foreign Office. He is both our love interest and our spy. The fabric around the story is the pressure of living a lie, of always dissembling, of playing a role and always being on your guard. Edward drinks to cope, Laura lives as a totally false person, an empty-headed socialite which is how she is eventually perceived. This is a very interesting slant on the Cold War, a fascinating read.
Wife. Mother. Spy. A double life is no life at all. Since the disappearance of her husband in 1951, Laura Leverett has been living in limbo with her daughter in Geneva. All others see is her conventional, charming exterior; nobody guesses the secret she is carrying. Her double life began years ago, when she stepped on to the boat which carried her across the Atlantic in 1939. Eager to learn, and eager to love, she found herself suddenly inspired by a young Communist woman she met on the boat. In London she begins to move between two different worlds - from the urbane society of her cousins and their upper class friends, to the anger of those who want to forge a new society. One night at a party she meets a man who seems to her to combine both worlds, but who is hiding a secret bigger than she could ever imagine. Impelled by desire, she finds herself caught up in his hidden life. Love grows, but so do fear and danger. This is the warm-blooded story of the Cold War. The story of a wife whose part will take her from London in the Blitz, to Washington at the height of McCarthyism, to the possible haven of the English countryside. Gradually she learns what is at stake for herself, her husband, and her daughter; gradually she realises the dark consequences of her youthful idealism.
|Publication date:||16th June 2016|
|Publisher:||The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Closing date: 10/07/2022
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read the full reviews.
Praise for A Quiet Life:
'A tour de force. Walter has taken us inside a life in hiding, in a novel about love, about political ideals and about the entrapment both create
Praise for Natasha Walter's non-fiction:
'Spare and spirited elegance'
The New Statesman
'Elegant and thought-provoking'
Allison Pearson, The Daily Mail
Natasha Walter has worked as a journalist, columnist and reviewer for Vogue, the Guardian, the Observer and the Independent, has judged the Booker Prize, and is the founder of the charity Women for Refugee Women.More About Natasha Walter