The Story

A sad, funny, funnily sad excursion into suburbia in a modern housing estate in the Midlands of dear old England. Sally is a young teacher, recently married to the dullard Graham, aching for excitement and a new life – aspirations which are clouded by the fact that she has Hodgkin’s disease, an aggressive and persistent form of cancer. In Spireslea, she is surrounded by what at first seem to be a crushingly boring selection of aspiring middle-class posers, eccentric grand dames, fake majors (‘he was a sergeant major actually’, according to the nasally impaired postmaster) and has no other companion than her faithful diary. Archers fans or lovers of Tom Sharpe’s books may recognise the types! As the book unfolds she begins to realise that the locals are each in the midst of complex and fantastic lives, which encroach on her solitary world in a bizarre desire to take it over…Gradually as the cancer gains in strength so does Sally, especially after young Annie – tousled, tomboyish and tangled up in her own story of kidnap, murder and brothers called Peverill – comes tumbling over the garden fence and changes her life.

The adventures of these two mismatched co-conspirators take them into an international plot to steal a drug from a research facility in Omaha Nebraska, via plots of murder, rape and theft in a furious struggle against that biggest foe of all – cancer.

There is a great deal of fact and experience behind this novel. Many of the details are real, only names and characters have been changed….

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