In this vivacious memoir, Thomas Keneally conjures up his youthful self at a pivotal period in his life - as a red-haired teenager who idolised Gerald Manley Hopkins, had visions of being a sporting hero, and dreamed of winning the heart of the alluring Bernadette Curran. The one role he did not see himself playing was priest, despite the encouragement of the Brothers at his Catholic school - until Bernadette announced her intention of becoming a nun. Drawing an affectionate portrait of the people who inspired and influenced him, Keneally beautifully captures the agonies and the ecstacies of adolescence.
British author Titchmarsh (Rosie) brings the art world alive in this engaging romantic drama. In 2007, James "Jamie" Ballantyne reconnects with childhood chum and flame, Artemis "Missy" King, who resurfaces in the showroom of Jamie's auction house in Bath to bid on a painting on behalf of her grandfather. The reunited couple discover that a set of paintings by Sir Alfred James Munnings, owned by Missy's grandfather (himself owner of an established fine art gallery), are fakes. Their investigation reveals a long thread of family secrets and the source of the feud between their two families, revelations that cause the couple to split up. Titchmarsh alternates between the present and the story of Jamie's grandfather, Harry Ballantyne, and Missy's grandmother, Eleanor King, who met as art students at Oxford. The effect is nostalgic and builds anticipation and curiosity in the history of the two families, including the story behind the lost love of their grandparents.