join us on facebook
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Acting Up by Libby Purves


Acting Up by Libby Purves

The Andersons are a military family with honours and traditions stretching back two hundred years. When the second Iraq war breaks out, it is only natural that their newest generations should be represented in the ranks of British officers: at 24, Lieutenant Susie Anderson delays her wedding to handsome fellow-officer Callum and joins her regiment on the hot sands of Kuwait. Brother Francis, meanwhile, continues his cabaret career as Madam Fanny Fantoni, drag chanteuse and net-stockinged vamp, with a stinging line in repartee and the most remarkable falsetto top C in Clapham. As the neighbours agree, it must be terribly difficult for their poor parents, especially the General. Real difficulties come, though, when Callum comes home injured, altered and bitter, and Susie and her family feel as though their lives are shattered. The solution to this tangle comes from the most unlikely source of all.Set against a background of desert war, seedy clubs, a hippie sailing-ship and quiet English village life, Libby Purves' latest novel is a commentary on changing social roles, the nature of courage and the futility of prejudice.


A joy to read * Good Book Guide * Convincing and enjoyable . . . there is a warmth and sincerity about this novel that makes one care about its outcome. * Sunday Telegraph * An eclectic mix of meticulously researched settings . . . Purves's prose is clear and unfussy * Observer *

About the Author

Libby Purves is a writer and also a broadcaster who has presented the talk programme Midweek on Radio 4 since 1984 and formerly presented Today. She is a main columnist on the Times and in 1999 was named the Granada What the Papers Say Columnist of the Year, and awarded a O.B.E for services to journalism. She lives in Suffolk with her husband the broadcaster and writer Paul Heiney.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

14th February 2005


Libby Purves

More books by Libby Purves
Author 'Like for Like'


Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division


288 pages


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

My favourite thing about is the 'like for like' page this has really introduced me to some good reads! That and lots of honest reviews.

Sam Lewis