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The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell

Good Housekeeping's view...

Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2010.

Costa Book Awards 2010 Judges' comment:
"A powerful story full of dynamic characters, crafted with panache and lyricism."

Shortlisted for the Galaxy UK Author of the Year 2010.

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 20 May 2010.

May 2010 Good Housekeeping selection.

The fifth book from the award-winning author of After You’d Gone is another delight, weaving
together the stories of two women who have never met but whose destinies are linked by
secrets, deception and love. Maggie’s skill is to draw the reader into her characters’ lives, while

gradually revealing the relationship that binds them. A compelling portrait of motherhood.

July 2010 Guest Editor Louise Candlish on Maggie O'Farrell...

O’Farrell is an author I’ve come to quite late and have therefore read in the wrong order. This is her newest and most stylish; the writing is spun gold. I love the character of Lexie Sinclair: the way she approaches motherhood, the way she runs her career, the way she treats her men. It’s terribly sad, too, and made me cry.

If you like Maggie O'Farrell you might also like to read books by Hanif Kureishi, Margaret Atwood and Julie Myerson.

What is Good Housekeeping

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Lexie Sinclair begins work on an arts magazine in 1950s’ bohemian Soho. Her boss is sophisticated art collector Innes Kent, and an affair between the two is quickly inevitable. As Lexie progresses from office girl to respected journalist, it is her relationships that will determine her fate and that of others connected to her. In the present day, Elina struggles to cope with motherhood after a difficult birth. Her partner Ted is troubled by strange flashbacks and memories of someone he cannot place.   The two stories must be linked, but how? The mystery is solved in this impressive, compelling novel.
~ Karen Howlett


The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell

A gorgeously written story of love and motherhood, this is a tour de force from one of our most acclaimed and best loved novelists. When the bohemian, sophisticated Innes Kent turns up by chance on her doorstep, Lexie Sinclair realises she cannot wait any longer for her life to begin, and leaves for London. There, at the heart of the 1950s Soho art scene, she carves out a new life for herself, with Innes at her side. In the present day, Elina and Ted are reeling from the difficult birth of their first child. Elina, a painter, struggles to reconcile the demands of motherhood with sense of herself as an artist, and Ted is disturbed by memories of his own childhood, memories that don't tally with his parents' version of events. As Ted begins to search for answers, so an extraordinary portrait of two women is revealed, separated by fifty years, but connected in ways that neither could ever have expected.

About the Author

Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of seven novels, AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, and THIS MUST BE THE PLACE. She lives in Edinburgh.

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Book Info

Publication date

29th April 2010


Maggie O'Farrell

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