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Widows and Orphans

Widows and Orphans

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Hardback

£14.99

Publisher: Arcadia Books
ISBN: 9781910050231
Published: 26/02/2015

Duncan Neville, editor-proprietor of the Francombe and Salter Mercury, is struggling to keep the paper afloat. For over 150 years, it has served the residents of the two South Coast resorts. Hit by the Recession and the advent of new technology, both the paper and the values it represents are under threat. Duncan s personal life is in similar disarray, as he juggles the demands of his elderly mother, disaffected son, harassed ex-wife and doting secretary. Meanwhile, Geoffrey Weedon, a childhood friend turned bitter rival unveils a plan to rebuild the dilapidated pier, which, while promising to revive the town s fortunes, threatens its traditional ethos.

Lyrical and witty, moving and profound, Widows and Orphans turns a penetrating gaze on life in modern seaside town and paints a compelling portrait of a good man fighting for his principles in a hostile world.

Michael Arditti

Michael Arditti was born in Cheshire and educated at Jesus College, Cambridge. He began his literary career writing plays, of which several were produced on the stage and the radio. He has written theatre criticism for The Times, The Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Sunday Express, and was, for many years, a regular reviewer for the Evening Standard. He currently reviews books for several papers and is a regular broadcaster on the BBC. His novel Easter, published in 2000, won the first Waterstone's Mardi Gras Award and was shortlisted for the Creative Freedom Award. Unity (2005) was shortlisted for the 2006 Wingate / Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize.

'Arditti's fictional Francombe is a familiar seaside town and a brilliantly revealing microcosm of a society where greed and power are embraced - Widows and Orphans is powerfully realistic. Arditti has written an uncomfortable but very readable novel about the careless greeds of the way we live now.' Helen Dunmore, the Guardian 'One of the many pleasures of this novel is the range and depth of the author's sympathies. Moreover, Arditti has a fine eye for the significant detail and the novel is beautifully constructed - It is funny and moving and deeply tender.' Allan Massie, the Scotsman 'For all the sparky one-liners, the crisp satire on small-town preoccupations and the increasingly hilarious newspaper columns prefacing each chapter, this is a profound and unsettling book - Like a Graham Greene for our time, Arditti has written an exquisite novel which traces the challenging journey of the human heart towards the grace of acceptance.' Lucy Beresford, the Spectator 'Arditti has a mischievous take on small town politics, and the characters are brilliant. Benign satire, with a bite.' Kate Saunders, The Times 'There are splendidly comic scenes worthy of Alan Ayckbourn. While the deeply moving last chapter is like the final movement of a string quartet, weaving together the various themes. Arditti's strength in creating an entire community, full of rich and contrasting characters has resulted in a satisfying book, full of insight, pain, compassion and humour. I cannot recommend it highly enough.' James Roose-Evans, Ham and High 'A plot concerning the fate of the historic local pier provides an entertaining narrative motor, while Arditti's wit and typically breezy style keep the pages turning effortlessly.' Stephanie Cross, The Lady 'At a time when 'good' can so often be synonymous with uninteresting and bland, Arditti has constructed a complex, witty and thoughtful portrait of an innately decent man and the messy modern world he lives in.' Amber Pearson, Daily Mail

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