by Beryl Bainbridge - £8.99 Little, Brown Book Group (2003)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780349116150 | ISBN 10: 0349116156
It is 1950 and the Liverpool repertory theatre company is rehearsing its Christmas production of Peter Pan, a story of childhood innocence and loss.
Stella has been taken on as an assistant stage manager and quickly becomes obsessed with Meredith, the dissolute director. But it is only when the celebrated O'Hara arrives to take the lead that a different drama unfolds.
In it, he and Stella are bound together in a past that neither dares to interpret.
"Imagine Priestley's The Good Companions as written by Gogol and you will have some idea of the mixture of waggish humour and sordid pathos in Bainbridge's novel."
"This is one of Bainbridge's best books. The close observation and hilarity are underlain by a sense of tragedy as deep as any in fiction."
"A subtle schizophrenic insight into adult relationships... Bainbridge's understated prose and obsessive eye for the smallest and most telling of details have never been better employed."
(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)
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In booklists: Fiction - Local Writers & Local Interest, Film and Theatre in Liverpool and the North West, Writers By Surname - B, Historical Fiction, In categories: Fiction, Local Interest, Media & Culture, Music & Performing Arts, History & Biography,