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Mrs. Engels - Gavin McCrea :: The Progressive Torrents Community
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Mrs Engels - Gavin McCrea




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10.00 B

Date/time added:

2015-12-27 15:28:34


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Books : Fiction : English

In September 1870 a train leaves Manchester bound for London. On board is Lizzie Burns, a poor worker from the Irish slums, who is embarking on the journey that will change her forever. Sitting in the first-class carriage beside her lover, the wealthy mill-owner Frederick Engels, the vision of a life of peace and comfort takes shape before her eyes: finally, at nearly fifty, she is to be the lady of a house and the wife to a man. Perhaps now she can put the difficulties of the past behind her, and be happy?

In Gavin McCrea’s stunning debut novel, we follow Lizzie as the promise of an easy existence in the capital slips from her view, and as she gains, in its place, a profound understanding of herself and of the world. While Frederick and his friend Karl Marx try to spur revolution among the working classes, Lizzie is compelled to undertake a revolution of another kind: of the heart and the soul. Haunted by her first love (a revolutionary Irishman); burdened by a sense of duty to right past mistakes; and torn between a desire for independence and the pragmatic need to be taken care of, Lizzie learns, as she says, that ‘the world doesn’t happen how you think it will. The secret is to soften to it, and to take its blows.’

Wry, astute and often hilarious, Lizzie is as compelling and charismatic a figure as ever walked the streets of Victorian England, or its novels.
_____________________________________

Shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize 2015

Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2015

Amazon.com Top 20 Best Books of 2015

Publishers Weekly Top 20 Best of Fiction 2015

Kirkus Best of Fiction 2015

O: The Oprah Magazine Pick of the Month

_________________________

'McCrea is triumphant in creating Lizzie's voice; she is dazzingly convincing. Voices that feel authentic to their period and yet brim with life and verve are so rare that Mrs Engels is my book of the month.'
--Antonia Senior, The Times

'Lizzie is a powerhouse protagonist...as improbable a subject for historical fiction as she is irresistible'
--Jan Stuart, The New York Times

'In this impressive debut, McCrea draws sharp ironies from the gap between theory and actuality...A memorable portrait of a woman looking for a cause of her own, distinct from the one made famous by her husband.'
--Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal


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