Why buy this book?
- A shocking but deeply moving historical drama that will keep you gripped right up until the last page
- If you like THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE and the novels of Sarah Waters you will love this
About the book
Meanwhile, lonely and unloved sixteen-year-old Ellen is delighted when her handsome and charming young cousin Jacob is sent to live with her family. She thinks she has finally found a man to fall in love with and rely on, but when Jacob cruelly betrays her she finds herself once again at the mercy of her cold-hearted father. Soon the girls' lives become irrevocably entwined in this tension-filled drama. THE QUIETNESS is a novel of friendship and trust in the darkest of settings.
"PENNY A LOT...FINE RUSSETS! or "EIGHT A PENNY, STUNNING PEARS!"
It was the worst of days. Queenie and Da had been shouting themselves hoarse for hours; Da with his tray of apples strung round his neck and Queenie with a basket of pears balanced on her head. On good days they could easily take two shillings and Mam would buy a bit of bacon and butter to have with their bread, and sometimes they'd have 'taters, roasted crisp in the fire. But today was different. They hadn't even made enough pennies for a hot pie and a glass of beer.
Da swore under his breath, "Sod this for a trade. How's a man to wet his bleedin' throat?" His face had turned red and Queenie knew his temper would soon be flaring. "Come on my gal," he suddenly shouted. "If the beggars won't come to us, we'll go to them."
The room inside was long and low, the floorboards rotten and covered with dirty remains of straw. The air was thick with tobacco smoke and the sour smell of vomit. Customers crowded around the bar drinking; painted women groaned and cursed, and men with red, bloated faces and beady eyes reached out their hands to grab at her flesh.
"Here's a pretty one ripe for the plucking," said a voice.
Hot breath so close she could taste it.
"Over here missy. A penny for a kiss and a feel of your arse."
A shiny brown penny was lying on the floor. As Queenie bent to pick it up, stubby fingers found their way up her skirt and prodded at her where they shouldn't. The pears fell from her apron, but the penny was warm in her hand. She stood up and looked around at the leering faces.
"A PENNY FOR A FEEL OF A RIPE, JUICY ARSE!" she shouted, and ten minutes later she was back on the street with a handful of coins and the rain cooling the burning of her cheeks.
Letter from the editor
Sarah Odedina, Managing Director
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