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The Real Thing by Catherine Alliott

The Real Thing

Relationship Stories   Family Drama   Romantic Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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The Real Thing is a sparkling romantic comedy about not being quite able to let go of the past. Every girl's got one - that old boyfriend they never quite fell out of love with...

If you like Catherine Alliott you might also like to read books by Sheila O'flanagan, Jane Green and Jane Costello.


The Real Thing by Catherine Alliott

Tessa Hamilton's thirty, with a lovely husband and home, two adorable kids, and not a care in the world. Sure her husband ogles the nanny more than she should allow. And keeping up with the Joneses is a full-time occupation. But she's settled and happy. No seven-year itch for Tessa. Except at the back of her mind is Patrick Cameron. Gorgeous, moody, rebellious, he's the boy she met when she was seventeen. The boy her vicar father told her she couldn't see and who left to go to Italy to paint. The boy she's not heard from in twelve long years. And now he's back. Questioning every choice, every decision she's made since Patrick left, Tessa is about to risk her family and everything she has become to find out whether she did the right thing first time round...Step into Alliott country with The Real Thing.


Praise for Catherine Alliott:

'The writing is both intelligent and sparkling.' Marian Keyes

'You're in for a treat.' Daily Express

About the Author

Catherine Alliott

Catherine Alliott was our Guest Editor in August 2013 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.

Catherine Alliott started her first novel under the desk when she worked as an advertising copywriter. She was duly fired. With time on her hands she persevered with the novels, which happily flourished. In the early days she produced a baby with each book, but after three she stuck to writing as it was less painful. She writes with the nearest pen in exercise books, either in the garden or on a sofa. Home is a rural spot in Hertfordshire which she shares with her family and a menagerie of horses, cows, chickens and dogs, which at the last count totalled 34 beating hearts, including her husband.

Author photo © Neil Cooper


I first met Catherine because my youngest son was at school with her son. Catherine writes her novels in the first person which immediately makes you feel you know the heroine. I love all her books, including the latest The Secret Life of Evie Hamilton : I usually spot other people's twists but I didn't get this one until it jumped up and hit me off the page.

Author photo © Neil Cooper

Below is a Q & A with this author.

Q. If you couldn't be a writer, what would you like to be?
A. A painter – as in artist, not decorator.

Q. When you need to escape from your everyday routine, what do you do?
A. Light the fire, watch daytime TV and eat chocolate.

Q. Who is your style icon?
A. Wasn't aware I had one but very much admire Kristen Scott Thomas's style. So cool.

Q. What is your favourite food?
A. In - macaroni cheese. Out - Dover sole.

Q. What's your favourite movie?
A. Truly Madly Deeply.

Q. What's your idea of hell?
A. Shopping malls.

Q. When did you last cry and why?
A. Two weeks ago, at Badminton Horse Trials, watching a great friend's daughter jump round the cross country course. Amazing. I've known her since she was seven.

Q. What is so your idea of perfect happiness?
A. So corny. All my children plus boyfriends, girlfriends, any other friends and of course my husband, eating around the same table. Or actually, a table somewhere hot, on holiday, abroad, i.e. without me having to cook. Oh - and grandparents too.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
A. Deplore. Golly. Quite strong. Well I'm not mad about bad manners which come in many guises.

Click here to read the full Q&A

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Book Info

Publication date

10th May 2012


Catherine Alliott

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Penguin Books Ltd


544 pages


Relationship Stories
Family Drama
Romantic Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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