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The Serpentine Cave

The Serpentine Cave
 

Marion's search for the father she never knew takes her to St Ives. Here she learns of a lifeboat tragedy which is intrinsically tied up with her father's life. To find out more, Marion must delve deep into the past where she has to confront the demons which have tortured her own... read full description below.

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Quick Reference

ISBN 9780385408479
Barcode 9780385408479
Published 2 January 1997 by Transworld Publishers
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (3 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Paton Walsh, Jill
Availability Out of print

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780385408479
ISBN-10 0385408471
Stock Out of stock
Status Out of print
Publisher Transworld Publishers
Imprint Doubleday
Publication Date 2 January 1997
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Paton Walsh, Jill
Category Modern Fiction
Number of Pages 224
Dimensions Width: 138mm
Height: 216mm
Weight 375g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Fatherless family, Fiction, Artists, England, St. Ives (Cornwall, England)
NBS Text General & Literary Fiction
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 823.914
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

Marion's search for the father she never knew takes her to St Ives. Here she learns of a lifeboat tragedy which is intrinsically tied up with her father's life. To find out more, Marion must delve deep into the past where she has to confront the demons which have tortured her own adult life.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

US Review From the gifted and versatile Walsh (Knowledge of Angels, 1994, etc.): the comfortably appealing story of a grown woman who, when her secretive mother dies at 84, at last goes back to her childhood to find the identity that had been kept from her. Marion Easton, now in middle age, has never known who her father was - but she does have a distant, half-complete, childhood memory of a seaside cave, of something dreadful happening in it, and of being saved in the nick of time by an unknown man when an incoming tide cut her off from shore. Where was this cave? What really happened? Could the saving-man have been her father? And just how, one might ask, could Marion have reached middle age without - well, asking. But learning what the painter Stella Harnaker was really like as a mother - and person - helps answer that question. Eccentric, peremptory, demanding, autocratic - and completely, absolutely, utterly devoted to her painting - Stella was a mother who kept the past very tightly corked. Not even her grandchildren, now Marion's two grown children, know who their grandfather was - until, after Gran's death, an unsigned obituary reveals that Stella was once a prominent figure among the painters in Cornwall known as the St. Ives Society of Artists. So off to picturesque St. Ives goes Marion, with daughter Alice (a violist with love problems) and son Toby (a broker with suggestions-of-insider-trading troubles), where there will be slow and wonderful unravelings of the past: the house itself that Marion lived in as a child, the half-remembered cave where the tide came in - and, even more important, someone who was there when whatever awful thing it was that happened happened. Be assured it will be well worth finding out, in personal, historic, and human terms all. Pleasant sleuthing, likable people, fine Cornish seascapes, lots of St. Ivesian charm, and plenty of sensible, expert, outright interesting talk about art. Top Walsh, all around. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author's Bio

Jill Paton Walsh was educated at St Michael's Convent, North Finchley, and at St Anne's College, Oxford. She is the author of several highly praised adult novels- Lapsing, A School For Lovers, Knowledge of Angels, which was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize, Goldengrove Unleaving, The Serpentine Cave and A Desert in Bohemia. She has also won many awards for her children's literature, including the Whitbread Prize, the Universe Prize and the Smarties Award. She has three children and lives in Cambridge.

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