Girl in a Garden

by Lesley Chamberlain

If you enjoy observing family relationships and wondering what goes on behind the net curtains this is a must! The story of a summer in 60's suburbia when currents are moving with increasing force under the surface. Told from the perspective of 11 year-old Linka - a perceptive yet naive girl on the cusp of adolescence.


'Your kind father does everything for your mother, said Marjorie Hill, while Anne and Amy and I ate homemade cake and scones and eyed each other.
'Is she an invalid, Linka?'
'Whatever gives you that idea, Mrs Hill?'
'She very rarely comes out.'

I looked round the HIlls' sitting room. There were bookshelves and newspapers but everything was a sort of pale brown colour and there wasn't a television. The pictures on the walls were cut out of magazines. Mum wouldn't have liked to live there.
'She's ...' I sought desperately for a word. 'She's bored. There aren't enough things to interest her in the whole world.'

Mrs Hill leaned forward, half-smilimg, silently urging me to come closer to the right answer.
'She wants to be a free woman. To be modern.' I said finally.

Mrs Hill looked offended as if I'd said a rude word.


The Machine-Gunners by Robert Westall

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