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by Joanna Briscoe

The main theme of this family drama is a middle-aged mother's obsession with a child she gave up for unofficial adoption when she was seventeen. The novel is set on present day Dartmoor with flashbacks to the 1960s. The free and easy hippie atmosphere of that period is well conveyed as is the rural wildness of the location. An enjoyable, if at times slightly tongue in cheek, saga focussing especially on mother-daughter relationships.

Extract

Cecilia saw her in cow-pitted meadows, in streets; she saw her hiding in bushes, or swimming in seas, or drowning while she, her mother, called in despair; she saw her running away from her, turning to wave once more, disappearing across the fields, across the horizon, another horizon, and another, while she followed and followed.

Parallels

Any by Maggie O'Farrell
Shadow Baby by Margaret Forster
 

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