It is 1938 and Sigmund Freud, suffering from the debilitating effects of cancer, has been permitted by the Nazis to leave Vienna. He seeks refuge in England, taking up residence in the house in Hampstead in which he will die only fifteen months later. But his last months are made vivid by the arrival of a stranger, who comes and goes according to Freud's state of health. Who is the mysterious visitor and why has he come to tell the famed proponent of the Oedipus complex his strange story? Set partly in pre-war London and partly in ancient Greece, Where Three Roads Meet is as brilliantly compelling as it is moving. Former psychoanalyst and acclaimed novelist Salley Vickers revisits a crime committed long ago which still has disturbing reverberations for us all.
The brilliant new novel from the bestselling author of 'Mr Golightly's Holiday' and 'Miss Garnet's Angel'.'There is no cure for being alive.' Thus speaks Dr David McBride, a psychiatrist for whom death exerts an unusual draw. As a young child he witnessed the death of his six-year-old brother and it is this traumatic event which has shaped his own personality and choice of profession. One day a failed suicide, Elizabeth Cruikshank, is admitted to his hospital. She is unusually reticent and it is not until he recalls a painting by Caravaggio that she finally yields up her story.We learn of Elizabeth Cruikshank's dereliction of trust, and the man she has lost, through David's narration. As her story unfolds David finds his own life being touched by her account and a haunting sense that the 'other side' of his elusive patient has a strange resonance for him, too.Set partly in Rome, 'The Other Side of You' explores the theme of redemption through love and art, which has become a hallmark of Salley Vickers's acclaimed work. As with her other highly popular novels this is a many-layered and subtly audacious story, which traces the boundaries of life and death and the difficult possibilities of repentance.
The new edition of Salley Vicker's sensational debut novel. 'Miss Garnet's Angel' is a voyage of discovery; a novel about Venice but also the rich story of the explosive possibilities of change in all of us at any time.Julia Garnet is a teacher. Just retired, she is left a legacy which she uses by leaving her orderly life and going to live - in winter - in an apartment in Venice. Its beauty, its secret corners and treasures, and its people overwhelm a lifetime of reserve and caution. Above all, she's touched by the all-prevalent spirit of the Angel, Raphael.The ancient tale of Tobias, who travels to Media unaware he is accompanied by the Archangel Raphael, unfolds alongside Julia Garnet's contemporary journey.The two stories interweave with parents and landladies, restorers and priests, American tourists and ancient travellers abounding.The result is an enormously satisfying journey of the spirit - and Julia Garnet is a character to treasure.
The fantastic new edition of the bestselling second novel from the author of 'Miss Garnet's Angel'.Bridget Hansome and Frances Slater have only one thing in common. And that's Peter Hansome, who has died suddenly. Without their husband or lover, the women find that before they can rebuild their lives they must look to themselves and unravel mysteries that they had never before even suspected. So begins an unlikely alliance between wife and mistress and a voyage of discovery that is as comic as it is profound.'Instances of the Number 3' is a funny, beguiling exploration of love, bereavement, Shakespeare, illusion and the impossibility of escaping your past. Following on from 'Miss Garnet's Angel', this brilliant novel confirms Salley Vickers as a writer who transcends generations.
'A lovely book . . . wise at heart and filled with colourful characters' Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat A beautifully beguiling new novel from Salley Vickers, author of the bestselling Miss Garnet's Angel and winner of the 2007 IMPAC Dublin award, as heard on Radio 4's Book at Bedtime.
There is something special about the ancient cathedral in Chartres, with its mismatched spires, astonishing stained-glass and strange labyrinth. And there is something special too about Agnès Morel, the mysterious woman who is to be found cleaning it each morning.
No one quite knows where she came from - not the diffident Abbé Paul, who discovered her one morning twenty years ago, sleeping in the north porch; nor lonely Professor Jones, whose chaotic existence she helps to organise; nor Philippe Nevers, whose neurotic sister and newborn child she cares for; nor even the irreverent young restorer, Alain Fleury, who works alongside her each day and whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes, her colourful clothes and elusive manner. And yet everyone she encounters would surely agree that she has touched their lives in subtly transformative ways, even though they couldn't quite say how.
But with a chance meeting in the cathedral one day, the spectre of Agnès' past returns, provoking malicious speculation from the prejudiced Madame Beck and her gossipy companion Madame Picot. As the rumours grow more ugly, Agnès is forced to confront her history, and the mystery of her origins finally unfolds.
The Cleaner of Chartres is a compelling story of darkness and light; of traumatic loss and second chances. Told with a sparkling wit and beguiling charm, but infused throughout with deeper truths, it speaks of the power of love and mercy to transform the tragedies of the past.
'Salley Vickers is a novelist whose imaginative journey always promises magic and mystery. The Cleaner of Chartres shows her on top form in a rich weave of loss and redemption spiked with Ms Vickers' irrepressible wit' Robert McCrum, Observer 'With its subtle combination of explorations of faith and love, The Cleaner of Chartres is something of a return to the terrain of Vickers's first novel, Miss Garnet's Angel. Certainly, it's another gem' Independent 'Salley Vickers sees with a clear eye and writes with a light hand and she knows how the world works. She's a presence worth cherishing' Philip Pullman 'Reveals itself as a surprising exploration of the mysteries of imagination and faith' Joanna Trollope, Book of the Year, Daily Telegraph 'Rich, complex and haunting' Sunday Times 'Subtle and utterly joyous...a contemporary moral and psychological drama every bit as absorbing as Miss Garnet's Angel' Sunday Times 'A magical and at times sinister story about love, loss, secrets and forgiveness...with Chocolat-type charm' Scotland on Sunday 'The Cleaner of Chartres is a return to form' Sunday Express 'Combining grace with gravity and wisdom with wit, this latest novel by Salley Vickers simply radiates soul' Red 'If you're looking for a book to take you by surprise, Salley Vickers' latest is the perfect choice' Psychologies Salley Vickers is the author of the word-of-mouth bestseller Miss Garnet's Angel and several other bestselling novels including Mr Golightly's Holiday, The Other Side of You and Dancing Backwards as well as a collection of short stories Aphrodite's Hat. She has worked as a cleaner, a dancer, a university teacher of literature and a psychoanalyst. She is currently a RLF fellow at Newnham College Cambridge and she divides her time between Cambridge and London.
From the bestselling author of Miss Garnet's Angel comes an enchanting and unsettling collection of short stories.
Eli is an ordinary boy with an extraordinary gift. It will shape the course of his whole life but, he learns the hard way, he must keep it hidden from those who know him best. Seeing death is a mixed blessing.
Eli is not the only one defying the world's expectations of him. Cousin Francesca, a charming spinster and a favourite with the children, is harbouring kleptomaniac tendencies. Sarah Palliser, living alone next to a ramshackle graveyard, is more scared of the small box under her stairs than the ghosts outside her window. Meanwhile dreamy artist Nan is nursing a growing obsession with wolves in Britain and the recently widowed Frances finds herself inventing an exotic imaginary boyfriend to pass the time.
Push through an unassuming front door on an unremarkable street or peer into the glowing fluorescent windows of an urban office block and within you'll find strange and unforgettable scenes, normal people caught in situations they do not quite comprehend...
Salley Vickers is a master of the uncanny and the unexpected. In this collection of eleven remarkable stories, she explores bereavement and betrayal, closely guarded secrets and common gossip, long-overdue endings and decidedly strange beginnings. Each story is perfectly formed: a snapshot of a total stranger, a fleeting glimpse of lives spiced with a little something extra.
'Salley Vickers sees with a clear eye and writes with a light hand - she knows how the world works. Salley is a presence worth cherishing' - Philip Pullman
'A wonderful book. Salley Vickers spins a spellbinding account of a family in distress' Elizabeth StroutHow much can love ask of us? Brilliant and mercurial Will Tye suffers a life changing accident. The terrible event ripples through three generations of the complex and eccentric Tye family, bringing to light old tragedies and dangerous secrets. Each member of the family holds some clue to the chain of events which may have led to the accident and each holds themselves to blame. Most closely affected is Will's cousin Cecelia, whose affinity with Will leaves her most vulnerable to his suffering and whose own life is for ever changed by how she will respond to it.Told through the eyes of three women close to Will, his sister, his grandmother and his aunt, Cousins is a novel weaving darkness and light which takes us from the outbreak of World War Two to the present day, exploring the recurrence of tragedy, the nature of trangression, and the limits of morality and love.
'A wonderful book. Salley Vickers spins a spellbinding account of a family in distress' Elizabeth Strout on 'Cousins'Spring, 1918. Nine-year-old Charlotte Tye wakes up unusually early the night before her brother's wedding, and steals out down the familiar track leading from her house to the seashore. There, she meets a local man, standing alone amid the eider ducks, who carries a mysterious message for her... Read more about three generations of the Tye family from the First World War to the present day in the first two chapters of Salley Vickers' powerful new novel, 'Cousins', included in this free e-book.
A novel from the best-selling author of 'Miss Garnet's Angel' and 'Instances of the Number 3'. Holiday: a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation. [literally: holy day] Many years ago Mr Golightly wrote a work of dramatic fiction that grew to be an international bestseller. But his reputation is on the decline and he finds himself out of touch with the modern world. He decides to take a holiday and comes to the ancient village of Great Calne, hoping to use the opportunity to bring his great work up to date. But he soon finds that events take over his plans and that the themes he has written on are being strangely replicated in the lives of the villagers he is staying among. He meets Ellen Thomas, a reclusive artist, young Johnny Spence, an absconding schoolboy, and the tough-minded Paula who works at the local pub. As he comes to know his neighbours better, Mr Golightly begins to examine his attitude to love, and to ponder the terrible catastrophe of his son's death. And as the drama unfolds we begin to learn the true and extraordinary identity of Mr Golightly and how the nature of the secret sorrow that haunts him links him to his new friends. Mysterious, light of touch, witty and profound 'Mr Golightly's Holiday' confirms Salley Vickers's reputation as one of our most original and engaging novelists.
A charmingly subversive novel about a library in 1950s England, by the acclaimed author of The Cleaner of ChartresSylvia Blackwell, a young woman in her twenties, moves to East Mole, a quaint market town in middle England, to start a new job as a children's librarian. But the apparently pleasant town is not all it seems. Sylvia falls in love with an older man - but it's her connectionto his precocious young daughter and her neighbours' son which will change her life and put them, the library and her job under threat.How does the library alter the young children's lives and how do the children fare as a result of the books Sylvia introduces them to?
Julia Garnet goes to live in Venice. Its beauty overwhelms a lifetime of reserve and caution. Above all, she's touched by the spirit of the Angel, Raphael. Twinned with her journey is that of Tobias, who is determined that his son should recover the family debt and allow his father to die in peace.