Search: Out of Shadows
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'If I stood you in front of a man, pressed a gun into your palm and told you to squeeze the trigger, would you do it?'
'No, sir, no way!'
'What if I then told you we'd gone back in time and his name was Adolf Hitler? Would you do it then?'
The fighting has stopped, independence has been won and Robert Mugabe has come to power offering the end of the Old Way and promising hope for black Africans.
For Robert Jacklin, it’s all new: new continent, new country, new school. And very quickly he learns that for some of his white classmates, the sound of guns is still loud, and their battles rage on.
Boys like Ivan.
Clever, cunning Ivan.
He wants things back to how they were, and he’s taking his fight to the very top.
Winner of the Costa, the UKLA and the Branford Boase Awards
Since Susannah Cates's husband was sent to prison three years ago, life has been a constant struggle to provide for herself and their teenage daughter. Nothing ever seems to go right and the most she hopes for now is that nothing more will go wrong.
Worried by her mother's unhappiness, thirteen-year-old Neve decides to take matters into her own hands. And when Susannah's closest friend Patsy discovers what Neve is up to, she immediately lends her support. As their plans start to unfold they have no way of knowing what kind of fates they are stirring, all they can see is Susannah's excitement, because at last a way seems to be opening up for her to escape her bad luck.
However, the spectre of horror is all the time pacing behind the scenes and never, in all Susannah's worst nightmares, could she have imagined her happiness causing so much pain to someone she loves...
Times move on for the Adams family in east London, and as business prospers, there are new worries to deal with. A young woman arrives who is intent on ruining Sammy Adam's winter fashion show, and Sammy must deal with her unwelcome attention. Boots has to find a solution when one of his female employees tells him about a sinister visitor, and he also does some match-making. But he doesn't realize that his family are being observed, as out of the shadows come dark and mysterious figures from the past who intrude on Boots, Polly and the twins, and his adopted daughter Rosie. Meanwhile Rosie has her hands full as her daughter Emily continues to rebel against everything around her.
How will the Adams family cope, as trouble seems to lurk around every corner?
In 2008, a YouTube clip became an internet phenomenon. It showed the emotional reunion of two young men and their pet lion, Christian, after they had left him in Africa to be introduced into his rightful home in the wild.
Anthony 'Ace' Bourke and John Rendall visited London from Australia in 1969 and bought a boisterous lion cub in Harrods. But Christian soon grew from cuddly cub to King of the Kings Road in London, and the only way to avoid him being incarcerated in a zoo was to place him under the expert care of George Adamson in Kenya. Ace and John did not return to see their lion for a year.
A Lion Called Christian tells their touching story, accompanied by stunning photographs. It's a unique and extraordinary tale of its time that resonates again today with a worldwide audience, thanks to the internet age, and is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.
It is 1944, and the Adams family, along with the rest of the people of the United Kingdom, are beginning to weary of the seemingly never-ending war against Hitler's Germany. Bobby Somers and Helene, living dangerously in the French countryside with a group of Resistance fighters, find themselves in great peril. Boots returns from the war in Italy, to the delight of Polly and their two little rascals, twins James and Gemma - but he brings with him a German prisoner who has a horrifying story to tell of the concentration camps. And while Sammy and Susie Adams are keeping the family business going as best they can during the privations of wartime London, their son Daniel catches the eye of a lively young American girl who brings a welcome breath of fresh air to the Adams household, so many of whose younger members are doing their bit for the war in various far-flung places of the world.
As plans for the long-awaited invasion of France get under way there is excitement and danger, but love continues to blossom in the most difficult of circumstances.
There was a double wedding planned in Walworth. Sally Brown was marrying Horace Cooper, and her brother, Freddy, was at last getting hitched to his childhood sweetheart, Cassie Ford. But the wedding wasn't the only thing being planned, for Ginger Carstairs and Dusty Miller were working out a bank robbery and, unbeknown to the inhabitants of Walworth and Denmark Hill, both Freddy Brown and the Adams family were to be deeply involved and put in considerable danger.
It took much ingenuity on Boots's part to come up with a scheme that would foil the plans of the raiders. And all this was happening at a time when Boots had other worries in his life, and when the unity of his own little family was being threatened.
The seemingly endless war was at last coming to a conclusion. But for the country and for the Adams family, there were still many tribulations to be overcome. Flying bombs - the deadly V1 buzzbombs - appeared over London, causing dreadful destruction, and the struggle continued to overcome the most powerful war machine the world had ever known.
But amongst the Cockney community there were lighter moments, too. For Felicity, Eloise and Lizzy Somers there was the happiness of knowing that their menfolk were safe and well. Daniel Adams and his American girlfriend even had a brief meeting with Winston Churchill himself. And as the Third Reich began to show signs of collapse, the scent of victory was in the air.
Karen Blixen's Out of Africa is the lyrical and luminous memoir of Kenya that launched a million tourist trails, beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range.
'I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills . . . Up in this high air you breathed easily . . . you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.'
From the moment Karen Blixen arrived in Kenya in 1914 to manage a coffee plantation, her heart belonged to Africa. Drawn to the intense colours and ravishing landscapes, Blixen spent her happiest years on the farm, and her experiences and friendships with the people around her are vividly recalled in these memoirs.
Out of Africa is the story of a remarkable and unconventional woman, and of a way of life that has vanished for ever.
'With its lyrical and luminous picture of Kenya, it launched a million tourist trails' Guardian
'A compelling story of passion and a movingly poetic tribute to a lost land' The Times
A work of sincere power ... a fine lyrical study of life in East Africa - Harold Nicolson, Daily Telegraph
Karen Blixen was born in Rungsted, Denmark, in 1885. After studying art at Copenhagen, Paris and Rome, she married her cousin, Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, in 1914. Together they managed a coffee plantation in Kenya until they divorced in 1925. She continued on the farm until a collapse in the coffee market forced her back to Rungsted in 1931.
Although she had written occasional contributions to Danish periodicals since 1905 (under the nom de plume of Osceola), her real debut took place in 1934 with the publication of Seven Gothic Tales, written in English under the pen name, Isak Dinesen. Out of Africa (1937) is an autobiographical account of the years she spent in Kenya. All of her subsequent books were published in both English and Danish, including Winter's Tales (1942) and The Angelic Avengers (1936). Among her other collections of stories are Last Tales (1957), Anecdotes of Destiny (1958), Shadows on the Grass (1960) and posthumously Ehrengard (1963). In the 1950s she was mentioned several times as a candidate to receive the Noble Prize in Literature.
Baroness Blixen died in Rungsted in 1962. In 1991 her house was opened as The Karen Blixen Museum.
Published: 7 Apr 2011
Excitement is running high in the Adams family. Mr Finch, after a long career in secret government work, is to be knighted - which means that Chinese Lady will become a real 'Lady'! What with having to find a new outfit suitable for the occasion, and worrying about whether she'll have to curtsey to the King, the redoubtable matriarch of the Adams family scarcely knows if she's coming or going.
Her grandson Paul, meanwhile, working for the Young Socialists, is worried at what his fiery colleague Lucy will say if she learns that he has titled connections. And Sammy, trying to rebuild his clothing business after the War, is horrified at the growing fashion for denim jeans, which even the young ladies of the family seem to be wearing. Should he forsake his beliefs that girls should dress like girls and start stocking these objectionable garments?
All differences are resolved, as the great day dawns when the Adams family goes to the Palace for their proudest moment.
Horace was ten, Ethel seven, when Jim Cooper, home from the trenches, minus an arm and just about managing on his own, found them huddled in a doorway on a wet night in Walworth. Slightly against his better judgement he took them in, fed them cocoa, and put them to sleep in his bed. A few days later he found that - somehow - he had become the unofficial guardian of Horace and Ethel. It was him, the orphanage, or separation for the gutsy little pair who would have to be farmed out to anyone who would take them, and Jim felt a sudden affinity for the two cheeky cockney kids. The first thing he had to do was find fresh lodgings for them all.
Miss Rebecca Pilgrim was a woman of strict Victorian principles, eminently respectable, and determined to keep her privacy intact. She had reckoned without her new lodgers - Horace, Ethel and, above all, the irrepressible Jim Cooper. And thus began the humanizing of Miss Pilgrim, who turned out to be younger, prettier, and far gentler than any of them had suspected.
In 1941, the United Kingdom was in desperate straits, standing alone with its troops against the colossal war machine of Nazi Germany. There was always Prime Minister Winston Churchill, however, who growled his defiance to Hitler and induced in his people a determination to endure.
The Adams family shared that determination and their own kind of optimism. Emma went happily into her marriage with Jonathan, while Boots's son Tim, in between his hazardous exploits as a Commando, helped his fiancee Felicity in her courageous fight against blindness, the result of a terrible injury in the bombing. Rosie Adams was due to marry Matthew Chapman from Dorset, but Chinese Lady was unsure about it. He seemed a fine enough man, but what with a lame leg that prevented him from doing his bit for his country, and the uncertainty of his garage business, she felt that he was hardly the ideal choice for such an eligible young woman as Rosie. As for Boots and his new wife Polly, they came up with some very unexpected news for the family...
The war is only into its second year, but already it has claimed one victim from the Adams family. Emily, Boots's cherished wife, has died in an air-raid,and the whole family mourns her. But for Polly Simms the prospect of a new life dawns, while the members of the younger generation who are in uniform, and doing their bit for King and Country, have their own problems to contend with. Tim has been posted to Scotland, to train as a Commando, and has met the lovely young officer Felicity; Eloise, now a sergeant in the ATS, is enjoying her new job as driver to the formidable Major Lucas. And has Rosie, now commissioned, lost her heart at last?
The Blitz all but destroys the factory in Shoreditch, but Sammy and Tommy Adams manage to find some alternative accommodation. And love is in the air - for young and old alike - as the Adams family refuse to let Hitler get the better of them.
As the 1950s progress, several unexpected happenings ruffle the usually calm atmosphere of Adams family life. Sammy and Boots are troubled by the first stirrings of industrial unrest, as the unions start to flex their muscles and old loyalties change, while an attractive new employee causes Sammy some troubles of a different kind.
The older generation are more than a little surprised at what they see around them as society moves on and the lives of the youngsters are being taken over by rock 'n' roll. Young Emily, still only thirteen but old beyond her years, catches the eye of a teddy boy, while Linda is pursued by a smooth-talking young man. But good sense and good luck prevail, and the Adams family find the strength to cope with these challenging times.
Published: 31 Oct 2011
The 1950s are in full swing, and the Adams family is blessed with many new additions. Chinese Lady now has so many grandchildren that even she can sometimes scarcely remember them all. Boots and Sammy are kept up-to-date by the Adams youngsters , some of whom are now working in the family business. But they also welcome newcomers , including the lovely Anneliese, whose German ancestry makes her less than popular with some of her South London neighbours, and Joe and Hortense , newly arrived from the West Indies and working hard for Matt and Rosie on their farm in Kent.
Sammy, meanwhile, has trouble with the newly-formed trade union at his factory, and the shadows of the war continue to haunt the family when Felicity's hopes for an operation which will save her sight are threatened by an extraordinary revelation.
But the Adams family is still full of hope and promise for the future.
An impetuous decision to marry has left the young Lady Caroline widowed and with two estates in her name. She is now in a position to live her life to the full, socialising with London’s finest aristocracy, but her unhappy experience has put her off marrying again.
Her younger sister, Annabelle, on the other hand, is falling in love with a man who is notoriously unfaithful. But Annabelle refuses to believe it, so Caroline knows she must intervene before she sees her sister fall victim to the same miserable fate she experienced.
And so she hires the charming Captain Burnside, a retired British Army officer, to distract her. An adventurer who is both charming and witty, he seems the perfect man to tear Annabelle away from her infatuation. But things don’t go quite according to Caroline’s plan…
A hilarious and merciless parody of rural melodramas and one of the best-loved comic novels of all time, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons is beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range.
'We are not like other folk, maybe, but there have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm...'
Sensible, sophisticated Flora Poste has been expensively educated to do everything but earn a living. When she is orphaned at twenty, she decides her only option is to descend on relatives - the doomed Starkadders at the aptly named Cold Comfort Farm.
There is Judith in a scarlet shawl, heaving with remorse for an unspoken wickedness; raving old Ada Doom, who once saw something nasty in the woodshed; lustful Seth and despairing Reuben, Judith's two sons; and there is Amos, preaching fire and damnation to one and all.
As the sukebind flowers, Flora takes each of the family in hand and brings order to their chaos.
Cold Comfort Farm is a sharp and clever parody of the melodramatic and rural novel.
'Very probably the funniest book ever written' Sunday Times
'Screamingly funny and wildly subversive' Marian Keyes, Guardian
'Delicious ... Cold Comfort Farm has the sunniness of a P. G. Wodehouse and the comic aplomb of Evelyn Waugh's Scoop' Independent
'One of the finest parodies written in English...a wickedly brilliant skit' Robert Macfarlane, Guardian
Stella Gibbons was born in London in 1902. She went to North London Collegiate School and studied journalism at University College, London. She then worked for ten years on various papers, including the Evening Standard. Her first publication was a book of poems, The Mountain Beast (1930), and her first novel, Cold Comfort Farm (1932), won the Femina Vie Heureuse Prize. Amongst her other novels are Miss Linsey and Pa (1936), Nightingale Wood (1938), Westwood (1946), Conference at Cold Comfort Farm (1949) and Beside the Pearly Water (1954). Stella Gibbons died in 1989.
Published: 7 Apr 2011
The honeymoon is over...
A plague of clockwork zombies is afflicting London, and as more people mysteriously disappear, so grows the panic.
For Eleanor Chance, she is still figuring out her abilities as the oracle, and how to keep the dark designs of the Shadow realm at bay.
But then Marsh, her newly-wed husband, is abducted. Can she save him from the fate of a clockwork heart before it’s too late?
Book two in The Chronicles of Light and Shadow series, from the award-winning author of A Conspiracy of Alchemists.