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Laurie Graham is a former Daily Telegraph columnist and contributing editor of She magazine. The author of several acclaimed novels, the two most recent were Gone with the Windsors and The Importance of Being Kennedy. She lives in Venice.
There is one great love in everyone's life. For Ducky, Princess Victoria Melita, hers was a Romanov cousin, a member of the doomed Russian royal family. Her father is Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria's second son. Her mother is Grand Duchess Marie, the daughter of Tsar Alexander II. Ducky seems doomed to be a pawn on her grandmother's dynastic chessboard. But Ducky is not so easily controlled. In an era when death is considered preferable to divorce she fights for the freedom to be with the true love of her life. From disgraced exile in Paris to the glitter of St Petersburg and the mud and carnage of the Eastern Front, she forges her own path. As Russia descends into the chaos of 1917 and the Romanov dynasty falters, Ducky is right at the heart of events. Exiled once more, she tells us her story.
Nan's mother loves to tell her daughter stories, though the details vary according to how much she has drunk. The tale she tells most often claims that Admiral Lord Nelson is Nan's father: he was her lover and she saw him die at Trafalgar. Or so she claims. From poor beginnings, resourceful Nan makes her own determined way through life, but always haunted by the wish to know the truth about her father. From Portsmouth in the early 1800s to the battlefields of the Crimea, Nan discovers the world is full of people with a story about Nelson. There are some questions we can never hope to answer...
Laurie Graham never fails to tell her story with sharp observations and a quick wit. Buzz Wexler is about to be unexpectedly sidelined in her career but maybe things that seem terrible in the beginning can bring a surprisingly much brighter future. A great story of unexpected friendships.
A brilliant novel by Laurie Graham set in wartime London, which follows Kick Kennedy, sister of future US President JFK, as she takes London society by storm. Nora Brennan is a country girl from Westmeath. When she lands herself a position as nursery maid to a family in Brookline, Massachusetts, she little thinks it will place her at the heart of American history. But it's the Kennedy family. In 1917 Joseph Kennedy is on his way to his first million and he has plans to found a dynasty and ensure that his baby son, Joe Junior, will be the first Catholic President of the United States. As nursemaid to all nine Kennedy children, Nora witnesses every moment, public and private. She sees the boys coached at their father's knee to believe everything they'll ever want in life can be bought. She sees the girls trained by their mother to be good Catholic wives. World War II changes everything. At the outbreak of war the Kennedys are living the high life in London, where Joseph Kennedy is the American ambassador. His reaction is to send the entire household back across the Atlantic to safety, but Nora, surprised by midlife love, chooses to stay in England and do her bit. Separated from her Kennedys by an ocean she nevertheless remains the warm, approachable sun around which the older children orbit: Joe, Jack, Rosemary, and in particular Kick, who throws the first spanner in the Kennedy works by marrying an English Protestant. Laurie Graham's poignant new novel views the Kennedys from below stairs, with the humour and candour that only an ex-nursemaid dare employ.
Reissue of a classic novel from the bestselling author of `The Future Homemakers of America'. What hope is there for Poppy Minkel? She has kinky hair, out-sticking ears, too yellow a neck and an appetite for fun, and her mother Dora despairs of ever finding her a husband, despite the Minkel's Mustard fortune that seasons these dubious attractions. When Daddy disappears, Poppy's tendency to the unusual is quietly allowed to flourish. World War I opens new horizons. With never a moment of self-doubt, she invents her own extraordinary life in step with the unfolding century.
Filled with warmth, wit and wisdom, `The Future Homemakers of America' takes us to the heart of female friendship. A novel fans of `Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood' will not be able to resist. Norfolk,1953. The Fens have never seen anything quite like the girls from USAF Drampton. Overpaid, overfed and over here. While their men patrol the skies keeping the Soviets at bay, some are content to live the life of the Future Homemakers of America - clipping coupons, cooking chicken pot pie - but other start to stray, looking for a little native excitement beyond the perimeter fence. Out there in the freezing fens they meet Kath Pharaoh, a tough but warm Englishwoman. Bonds are forged, uniting the women in friendship that will survive distant postings, and the passage of forty years.
Singing the City is Laurie Graham's celebration of Pittsburgh's industrial landscape and an eloquent tribute to a way of life largely disappearing in America. In her own accomplished prose and through the distinctive voices of the people she spoke with, Graham's hymn to family history, hard physical labor, and the love of place reveals a rich human story too often lost amidst the landscape of industry.
As a participant observer at Subaru-Isuzu Automotive, Laurie Graham conducted extensive covert research. Her findings will interest all those concerned about Japanese management strategies, the auto industry, and the American worker's experience of lean production.