Anna’s personal life is in crisis. Her marriage is struggling, and the disastrous affair she began as consolation has now become a millstone around her neck. The place where she feels most secure is the safe and ordered world of the classroom; as a teacher she happily follows the rules, works hard and gets results. Then the beautiful Kali arrives in her English group, a girl who is bright, unsettling, vulnerable and in need of guidance from an older woman. What could be more natural than for a caring teacher to show concern for a troubled pupil? Anna believes the friendship can save them both. But when that friendship begins to tip over into something more intense, Anna finds her professional and domestic lives caught up together in a spiral that threatens to destroy everyone she ever cared about.
Ally has everything she ever wanted: a husband, a child, a lovely house in a pretty neighbourhood. Her glamorous, dynamic next-door neighbour, Juno, is also her best friend. But Juno has made a surprising decision; she has signed up for Queen Mum, a reality-TV show. For two weeks, she will live with another family in another town, while her opposite number will be moving in next door to Ally. Juno is excited about the prospect of seeing life from a different perspective. Ally is nervous. She doesn't like change, and knows from bitter experience how something precious can be lost in a moment. Kate Long's new novel, written with her customary wit, empathy and incisiveness, is about friendship and love, recklessness and caution and about how the camera, while it sometimes lies, can also reveal uncomfortable truths. 'Delicious' Red ‘This is the perfect summer novel – easy to read, but perceptive about the twists of fate that can change our lives’ Glamour 'Long is as compulsively readable as ever' Time Out
Katherine Millar is eighteen and desperate to be less fat, less swotty and to have cooler friends. But most of all she wishes she had two parents, instead of one grandma, Poll. Poll is pushing seventy, half blind and utterly poisonous. She has looked after Katherine since she was a baby, when her father was killed in a car crash and her mother vanished. Poll's ambition is for things to stay exactly the same for ever, and for Katherine never to leave their pit village of Bank Top. Katherine has other ideas, and she can feel change is coming; the omens are all around her. In the meantime, she cleans up after Poll, revises for her exams, watches daytime television and surfs the net at the library trying to find out how to be bulimic. What she doesn't quite realize yet is that life won't always wait for you to catch up with it. Swallowing Grandma is a perceptive, vivid and painfully funny novel about the ties of love and loathing, and the ways in which our versions of the past can thwart our visions for the future. In Katherine and Poll, Kate Long has created two unforgettable characters locked in an epic battle over whose side of the story will prevail.
The Bad Mother's Handbook is the story of a year in the lives of Charlotte, Karen and Nan, none of whom can quite believe how things have turned out. Why is it all so difficult? Why do the most ridiculous mistakes have the most disastrous consequences? When are you too old to throw up in a flowerbed after too much vodka? When are you too young to be a mother? Both hilarious and wise, it is a clear-eyed look at motherhood - and childhood - in its many guises, from the moment the condom breaks to the moment you file for divorce or, more optimistically, from the moment you hear your baby's first cry to the moment you realize that there are as many sorts of mother as there are children, and that love sometimes is the most important thing of all.