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Item Title:

Summertime P/B RRP UK £6.99



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Qty: 1 Current Time: 11 Dec 16 06:49:58
Offered By: dogwatchcat (2|0) 
Time & Date displayed is for United States - EDT
Start Price: £0.80   ($1.01) (no reserve)Learn More about Reserves & Starting Prices Auction Length: Learn more about Instant Buy
Scheduled Close Date: 09 May 2014 15:52:57Learn More about closing times
Actual Close Date: 09 May 2014 15:53:05
Postage: Not Specified - Ask Bids Received: 0
Item Location : U/K
Seller Location: United Kingdom
Sell to: United Kingdom

Condition: New
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Item Specifics -Books
ISBN :0747262225
Author :Raffaella Barker
Lot #  17592547

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Item Description

 

 

Product Description

For a year, Venetia Summers has been buffered from single motherhood by her boy-friend, David, but when work takes him to a Brazilian rain forest, things begin to unravel. Phone lines crackle, e-mails languish unanswered, and long-distance love proves to be a bewildering experience. Meanwhile, Venetia’s children and dogs run wilder than ever, brother Desmond’s outrageous wedding takes over her home, and her relationship with an eccentric new neighbor gets off to an unfortunate start. Still, there are the everyday rewards, not least among them the dazzling beauty of the changing Norfolk seasons.

How is Venetia to cope alone with an army-style camping holiday, a foul-mouthed Amazonian parrot, and the demanding, if endearing, personalities of three exuberant children? Her burgeoning fashion career, creating outlandish garments for a London boutique, provides much-needed diversion. But when a moonlit walk takes an unexpected turn, she finds herself with a real dilemma on her hands.

With Summertime, Raffaella Barker, whom Publishers Weekly called “a postmodern Erma Bombeck,” gives us another sparkling comedy of English rural life, sure to delight fans of her first novel, Hens Dancing, and new readers alike.

About the Author

Raffaella Barker is the daughter of novelist Elspeth and poet George Barker. She lives in Norfolk, and is a regular contributor to Country Life and the Sunday Telegraph.

Excerpted from Summertime by Raffaella Barker.

Erupting apparently out of the tarmac is a vast chrome-fronted truck; its bonnet rears above us and my foot flails for the brake. The truck swerves, tyres shrieking, engine roaring; my windscreen fills with bull bars and car bonnet, and all I can think is that this is just like the Dinosaur Death Run game in both mood and soundtrack. Felix bounces up in his seat, shouting excitedly, `Look Mum, it's a Big Foot. Cool. Can we have one? Oww! Stop twisting my arm, we're quite safe, you know.'

Find I have involuntarily closed my eyes, and grasped Felix with one hand while wrestling to steer with the other, and maintaining a stream of foul language: `Shit! Buggering hell and buckets of blood. Felix, are you sure you're all right? WATCH OUT!'

We have crashed. Not fatally, as we were only going about ten miles an hour, but firmly. Felix whistles under his breath. `Yes Mum, I'm fine. Did you mean to do that handbrake turn? It was really excellent.'

The front end of the car is buried in the grassy bank, as if sniffing keenly at primroses, and the body of the car has slewed at ninety degrees across the road. The same has happened to the purple and yellow truck, but the front of his vehicle is facing the other way, so the driver-side windows are next to each other. We both lean out. I am shaking with shock, he is grinding his teeth, flaring his nostrils and flashing his eyes dangerously. In a minute I expect he will begin yanking his hair out by the roots. I say the first thing that comes into my head.

`Well I don't know why you're looking so angry. You could have killed us. And it's Easter Sunday.'

This is the wrong thing to say.

`Mum, it was your fault,' mutters Felix. `You were on the wrong side of the road.'

Fortunately, the man does not hear this vital witness evidence as he is struggling to open his door and get out. This is impossible, as the vehicles are too close to one another. He hisses, `Oh, for Christ's sake,' and slides over to the other side to get out of the passenger door. Hear him from beyond the truck cursing, `This is absurd. How the hell did we get into this mess?'

He reappears in the driver's seat, and I notice that his eyebrows are long and thick and join in the middle like the bristles of an old-fashioned carpet sweeper. No wonder he looks so bad-tempered. He is also unshaven and has wild black hair sprouting around a thinly covered crown, and a very earthy-looking jacket with no sleeves, just trails of unravelling string around the armholes. Presume he is a son of the pig farmer down the road, and make a suggestion.

`What if you walk home and get someone to bring a tractor?'

`Why don't you?' he says, rudely.

Answer very reasonably, rather enjoying the sensation of maintaining calm good humour in the face of his wild wrath, `Well, I haven't got a tractor, and anyway, your truck's in the way, and I wish you'd move it because I need to get home to cook lunch. We're having an Easter-egg hunt this afternoon.'

Felix has climbed out of the sunroof and is inspecting the bank behind me. I am certainly not getting out. A nightie is fine for church, but it's not my garment of choice for a traffic incident. Pull the tweed coat close about me, and wish it was fur. Would then feel grand and Cruella-like, and would be able to get the better of this rudester. His shirt is missing a couple of buttons and he has a melted-looking ring on his wedding finger. In fact, it looks very like one of the mourning rings made by Charles's company, Heavenly Petting. He grips his steering wheel and the skin on his knuckles seems to slide back until bone white shows. Decide not to ask him about the ring, he looks too cross. He leans towards me through the window again, eyes glinting, and says between clenched teeth, `What makes you think I have a tractor?'

I am fed up with all this now, and just want to get home. Am beginning to think that this is not a junior pig farmer at all, but in fact a free-range psychopath, and am anxious to make my escape. Felix pokes his head in through my window like a traffic warden.

`Mum, if you go backwards first, you can do a three-million-point turn and get out. Hey, look. He's got one of Dad's Heavenly Petting rings. It's one of the ones I designed for small rodents. It costs three ninety-nine and you can buy it in Argos, Asda or any good pet shop.'

Felix is good on the Heavenly Petting sales mantra. I wonder if Charles gets him out on the road with him when he has the children for the weekend. I can just imagine him forcing Felix, Giles and The Beauty to wear ties and carry plastic briefcases full of his wares in order to go doorstepping in Cambridge. He wouldn't dare do it to the twins, Helena would never allow it, but as ex- rather than present wife, I have no power on weekends away.

Come back to the present to find Felix standing on the truck's running board, interviewing the driver about his dead animals. `Oh, I see. It wasn't your guinea pig. It was your stepdaughter's. Did she get a ring for her cat when it died, or did she just go for a garden burial and nothing to commemorate? You know we've gone on the Internet now. You can look it up. It's called deaddog.com and I thought of it and we've registered it and ...'

 


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