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Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe


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SKU: 9780241967805 Category: Tag:


Man at the Helm the debut novel from Nina Stibbe – the much-loved author of Love Nina – is a wildly comic brilliantly sharp-eyed novel about the horrors of being an attractive divorcee in an English village in the 1970s and a family’s fall from grace . . . My sister and I and our little brother were born (in that order) into a very good situation and apart from the odd new thing life was humdrum and comfortable until an evening in 1970 when my mother listened in to my father’s phone call and ended up blowing her nose on a tea towel – a thing she’d only have done in an absolute emergency. Not long after her parents’ separation heralded by an awkward scene involving a wet Daily Telegraph and a pan of cold eggs nine-year-old Lizzie Vogel her sister and little brother and their now divorcee mother are packed off to a small slightly hostile village in the English countryside. Their mother is all alone only thirty-one years of age with three young children and a Labrador. It is no wonder when you put it like that that she becomes a menace and a drunk. And a playwright. Worried about the bad playwriting – though more about becoming wards of court and being sent to the infamous Crescent Home for Children – Lizzie and her sister decide to contact by letter suitable men in the area. In order to stave off the local social worker they urgently need to find a new Man at the Helm. ‘All hail a book that’s funny!’ Barbara Trapido ‘[A] joyous read full of wit and charm . . . I am already longing for Nina Stibbe’s next book’ Observer ‘Nine-year-old Lizzie (our narrator) is the perfect conduit for her creator just the right mixture of childhood innocence and incredulity for the necessary deadpan delivery of Stibbe’s particular brand of comedy. Read it and be charmed’ Independent ‘A beguilingly comic blend of naivety and precociousness’ Sunday Times

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