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Rose Tremain

Absolutely and Forever

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A piercing short novel of thwarted love and true friendship from one of our greatest living writers.

How do you find the courage to make your own life? Marianne Clifford, teenage daughter of a peppery army colonel and his vain wife, falls helplessly and absolutely for eighteen-year-old Simon Hurst, whose cleverness and physical beauty suggest that he will go forward into a successful and monied future, helped on by doting parents. But fate intervenes.

Simon's plans are blown off course, he leaves for Paris and Marianne is forced to bury her dreams of a future together. It is Marianne who tells this piercing story of first love, characterising herself as ignorant and unworthy, whilst her smart, ironic narration tellingly reveals so much more. Finding her way in 1960s Chelsea, and supported by her courageous Scottish friend, Petronella, she continues to seek the life she never stops craving. And in Paris, beneath his blithe exterior, Simon Hurst continues to nurse the secret which will alter everything.


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