If you save someone’s life, do you become responsible for them? When Anna receives a letter from Adam, thanking her for saving his son Max’s life with a bone-marrow donation, it’s the first positive thing that’s happened to her for a long time. Grief-stricken at the recent loss of her baby, she’s failed to give life in the past.
Now this four-year-old boy is alive and healthy because of her: it’s a heady realization. Anna is desperate to get to know Max, yet terrified at how responsible she feels for him. So she decides not to tell anyone about him or that she’s arranged to meet his father.
Soon she is immersed in a complicated double life, spending half the week with her husband, who believes her to be filming out of town, and the other half with Adam and Max. But Anna has lied to Adam about who she is. And she’s lied about her marriage. And soon these lies will catch up with her…
Games People Play
Change is sometimes hard to face up to.
Rachel is a rising tennis star. But does she want success more than she wants a ‘real’ life, and a steady boyfriend like everyone else?
Susie is Rachel’s mother. All she wants is her partner Billy – but he’s left her, and it’s a huge shock. Is she brave enough to start again?
Gordana is Rachel’s grandmother. She has everything she ever wanted: health, wealth and a loving family – or at least she thinks she does.
Ivan is the link between them all: Rachel’s dad (and coach), Susie’s ex-husband and Gordana’s son. It’s no secret that he can be difficult. But nobody is prepared for what happens when he gets arrested, or the changes that it forces on all their lives.
Helena Nicholls – ex world-famous pop star and prime-time DJ – wakes up in hospital to find her looks, her career and her personal life in tatters. She has been let down by her boyfriend, and the one person she loved most in the world – her best friend since the age of five – is dead. She feels that she belongs nowhere, and her sense of identity, fragile at the best of times, is in pieces.
So Helena turns to the one thing that has always got her through, the one thing that has real resonance: music. And she begins to concoct The Plan. Using the request format that made her radio show so popular, where listeners rang in with detailed stories about why certain songs were so meaningful for them, she sets out the story of her own life, chapter by chapter, track by track.
Thinking about the songs that represent important chapters in her own life, Helena begins to come to terms with her past. But the present is more of a problem as, while in hospital, she has remet an old friend to whom she is still hugely attracted.
Her strict adherence to The Plan, however, means that time is not on her side. If she is to have a future at all, she must work out what it really means To Be Someone. With its wry, appealing narrative voice, and its insider’s take on the world of pop music, To Be Someone is a stunningly mature first novel which swings with wide smoothness between past and present, child and adulthood, joy and tragedy, love, loss and the meaning of true friendship.
From the age of nineteen, Emma Victor has had to bring up her much younger sister Stella. It has shaped both their lives. Now Stella is almost grown up, and Emma’s nurturing instincts extend to her work as an aromatherapist, and inform her relationship with the unreliable but irresistible Gavin. But something is missing, and Emma has to confront her deepest need – a need she’s been denying for years – and embark on a search for her birth mother.
Are You My Mother? chronicles Emma’s search for her birth mother and for a sense of her own place in the world in this compelling, funny and profoundly moving novel about love, identity and the need to belong.