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Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017.
From the jubilant “You shall go to the ball!” of the preface, and the “Once upon a time” opening, this glorious feminist-hued fable tells of a young woman’s transformation from domestic servant to liberated writer. Sunday, 30th March, 1924. It’s Mothering Sunday and, as is customary, book lover Jane Fairchild has been relieved of her housemaid’s duties. But (in true fairy tale fashion), Jane has no mother to visit, and instead jumps at the chance of enjoying an intimate liaison with her lover. Cue much delicious anticipation: “Her heart had soared. Feast your eyes. A story was beginning". By lunchtime, Jane is alone again, but she leaves her lover’s house feeling “a sudden unexpected freedom”. While tragic news is but a blink away, the disrupted chronology of this exquisitely written novel reveals the storyteller’s life that Jane later carves for herself, with only the tale of this momentous Mothering Sunday left untold to her readers.
With such an abundance of life, soul, sensuality and style packed into less than 150 pages, I can’t recommend this flawless, life-affirming nugget enough. ~ Joanne Owen
The Walter Scott Prize Judges said:
‘It is March 30, 1924. Mothering Sunday. The day that servants were allowed to return to their families. Jane Fairchild is a housemaid and orphan with no prospect of a visit home but she has a rendezvous, nevertheless. It is that encounter and its consequences that are described in this short novel by Graham Swift. Jane’s life will never be the same as she begins a journey from servitude to independence. It is a perfect and life-affirming novel.’
Win tickets to the Borders Book Festival!
We have 4 tickets (2 pairs) to give away to one lucky winner to attend two Walter Scott Prize events taking place at the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival on Saturday 17 June 2017. One pair of tickets is for a panel event with shortlisted authors, and the other is for the Prize event in which the winner is announced and presented. Click here to find out more about the Borders Book Festival.
Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash and does not include transport or accommodation. Draw closes on 2 May 2017. The winner will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 14 May 2017.
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
From the Booker-winning author of Last Orders and Waterland comes a long-awaited new novel - It is March 30th 1924. It is Mothering Sunday. How will Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, occupy her time when she has no mother to visit? How, shaped by the events of this never to be forgotten day, will her future unfold? Beginning with an intimate assignation and opening to embrace decades, Mothering Sunday has at its heart both the story of a life and the life that stories can magically contain. Constantly surprising, joyously sensual and deeply moving, it is Graham Swift at his thrilling best.
'Mothering Sunday is a powerful, philosophical and exquisitely observed novel about the lives we lead, and the parallel lives - the parallel stories - we can never know ...It may just be Swift's best novel yet' Observer
'Mothering Sunday is bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes, it blazes irresistibly...Swift's small fiction feels like a masterpiece' Guardian
About the Author
Publication date9th March 2017
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PublisherScribner UK an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
CategoriesModern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
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