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The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall

by Paul Torday

The clever feature of this novel is the mixture of a very old-fashioned and privileged way of life and the current economic situation which leaves the main character, Ed Hartlepool, totally unable to cope. The reader becomes genuinely interested in the ultimate fate of these convincing characters. An unusual and perceptive portrayal of the demise of a way of life by the author of 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen'. Recommended.

Extract

'Good morning,' said Ed. 'I'm Ed Hartlepool.'
'I know who you are. I recognised you at once, even though we have never met before. You have your father's looks.'
'Have I indeed?' replied Ed.
'My name is Alice Birtley,' said the old lady. I don't suppose your father ever mentioned my name to you?'
'No. He didn't.'
He waited for some explanation but none came. Then Horace appeared beside them carrying a silver tray on which there were two glasses of champagne.
'Horace spoils me,' said Lady Alice. She raised her glass in Ed's direction. 'Happy days.'
Who was this person in Ed's house? Who was this woman acting as if she had lived there all her life, drinking his best champagne.

Parallels

Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo by Julia Stewart
 

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