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'Maggie Joel's The Safest Place in London is a beautifully written exploration of desperation and hope in a time of war. The novel captures the essence of the era with subtlety and style, while the shifting new world pushes characters to extreme lengths. A remarkable story of family, survival and how one decision can change lives for better or worse.' - Jane Harper, author of The Dry On a frozen January evening in 1944, Nancy Levin, and her three-year-old daughter, Emily, flee their impoverished East London home as an air raid siren sounds. Not far away, 39- year-old Diana Meadows and her own child, three-year-old Abigail, are lost in the black-out as the air raid begins. Finding their way in the jostling crowd to the mouth of the shelter they hurry to the safety of the underground tube station. Mrs Meadows, who has so far sat out the war in the safety of London's outer suburbs, is terrified - as much by the prospect of sheltering in an Eastend tube station as of experiencing a bombing raid first hand. Far away Diana's husband, Gerald Meadows finds himself in a tank regiment in North Africa while Nancy's husband, Joe Levin has narrowly survived a torpedo in the Atlantic and is about to re-join his ship. Both men have their own wars to fight but take comfort in the knowledge that their wives and children, at least, remain safe. But in wartime, ordinary people can find themselves taking extreme action - risking everything to secure their own and their family's survival, even at the expense of others. 'Don't let the title fool you, there is nothing safe about Maggie Joel's writing. Transporting the reader from a bomb shelter in London's East End to the deserts of Egypt, Joel's eye for exquisite historical detail combined with her nuanced characterisation will keep the pages turning. With World War II as her canvas, Joel's interest in families is again at the forefront of her new novel. In The Safest Place in London family life can be every bit as dangerous and explosive as the devastated world outside.' - Aoife Clifford, author of All These Perfect Strangers
The tale of one woman's ambitious ascent to royalty during the Wars of the Roses and the unsolved mystery around her sons' imprisonment in the Tower The first in a stunning new series, The Cousins War, is set amid the tumult and intrigue of The War of the Roses. Internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings this family drama to colourful life through its women, beginning with the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen The White Queen tells the story of a common woman who ascends to royalty by virtue of her beauty, a woman who rises to the demands of her position and fights tenaciously for the success of her family, a woman whose two sons become the central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the Princes in the Tower whose fate remains unknown to this day. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores the most famous unsolved mystery, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills. *'Gregory brings to life the sights, smells and textures of 16th-century England' Kate Mosse, Financial Times * 'It would be hard to make history more entertaining, lively or engaging' Sunday Express * 'Queen of the historical novel' Mail on Sunday
Few styles of popular music have generated as much controversy as progressive rock, a musical genre best remembered today for its gargantuan stage shows, its fascination with epic subject matter drawn from science fiction, mythology, and fantasy literature, and above all for its attempts to combine classical music's sense of space and monumental scope with rock's raw power and energy. Its dazzling virtuosity and spectacular live concerts made it hugely popular with fans during the 1970s, who saw bands such as King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Jethro Tull bring a new level of depth and sophistication to rock. On the other hand, critics branded the elaborate concerts of these bands as self- indulgent and materialistic. They viewed progressive rock's classical/rock fusion attempts as elitist, a betrayal of rock's populist origins. In Rocking the Classics, the first comprehensive study of progressive rock history, Edward Macan draws together cultural theory, musicology, and music criticism, illuminating how progressive rock served as a vital expression of the counterculture of the late 1960s and 1970s. Beginning with a description of the cultural conditions which gave birth to the progressive rock style, he examines how the hippies' fondness for hallucinogens, their contempt for Establishment-approved pop music, and their fascination with the music, art, and literature of high culture contributed to this exciting new genre. Covering a decade of music, Macan traces progressive rock's development from the mid- to late-sixties, when psychedelic bands such as the Moody Blues, Procol Harum, the Nice, and Pink Floyd laid the foundation of the progressive rock style, and proceeds to the emergence of the mature progressive rock style marked by the 1969 release of King Crimson's album In the Court of the Crimson King. This "golden age" reached its artistic and commercial zenith between 1970 and 1975 in the music of bands such as Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, ELP, Gentle Giant, Van der Graaf Generator, and Curved Air. In turn, Macan explores the conventions that govern progressive rock, including the visual dimensions of album cover art and concerts, lyrics and conceptual themes, and the importance of combining music, visual motif, and verbal expression to convey a coherent artistic vision. He examines the cultural history of progressive rock, considering its roots in a bohemian English subculture and its meteoric rise in popularity among a legion of fans in North America and continental Europe. Finally, he addresses issues of critical reception, arguing that the critics' largely negative reaction to progressive rock says far more about their own ambivalence to the legacy of the counterculture than it does about the music itself. An exciting tour through an era of extravagant, mind-bending, and culturally explosive music, Rocking the Classics sheds new light on the largely misunderstood genre of progressive rock.
In Stranger Among Friends, renowned activist, political adviser, and White House insider David Mixner offered a compelling account of his decades-long fight for human rights and the challenges he faced as a gay man in Washington. Now, in this new book written with collaborator Dennis Bailey, Mixner presents moving, candid, and inspiring portraits of other extraordinary men and women engaged in the struggle for equality. Brave Journeys: Profiles in Gay and Lesbian Courage From a top-gun pilot in the U.S. Navy to an authority on antigay violence, from a member of the president's administration to a leading Shakespearean actor, Brave Journeys tells the stirring stories of seven intrepid men and women who effectively challenged the status quo and thereby altered the political and societal landscape of the world we live in. In these pages we meet Hispanic-American Dianne Hardy-Garcia, executive director of the Lesbian and Gay Rights Lobby of Texas and a passionate crusader against hate crimes; Elaine Noble, the feisty veteran of Boston's busing wars who became the first openly gay person to be elected to a state office in the United States-the Massachusetts State Legislature; brilliant British actor Sir Ian McKellen, who came out as a gay man and an activist in one very public moment on the BBC; Roberta Achtenberg, who braved the venomous homophobia of Jesse Helms in Senate confirmation hearings for her appointment to the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Lieutenant Tracy Thorne, a Navy fighter pilot living his lifelong dream of flight who outed himself on Nightline to challenge the U.S. military's policy against gays and lesbians, fully aware that this would mean the end of his Navy career; and San Franciscans Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, founders of the first national lesbian organization, the Daughters of Bilitis, who have celebrated fifty years together as a couple. Powerful and eloquent, Brave Journeys is David Mixner's tribute to gay men and lesbians who have made a difference. Rich in private bravery and public risk, these profiles comprise a vivid map of the gay rights movement over the last fifty years-and individually they testify to the power of courage to force change against profoundly overwhelming odds.
How cosy I made it sound. How easy. Sam and Ella both looked at me for a moment, their faces a mixture of apprehension and wistfulness. I smiled back at them indulgently, feeling so pleased with myself. Now, I look back and I want to grab my old self by the shoulders and shake, hard. I want to slap the smug smile off my face. I wasn’t just complacent; I was blind. Jane Berry has always dreamed of moving to the country. When she uproots her family and takes them to live in a rural paradise, at first it all seems perfect. She has the house and the space she always longed for and is determined to make a better life for herself and her children. But when her marriage comes under pressure the dream starts to fall apart. A seemingly promising new friendship shows its dark side and Jane finds her life spiralling out of control. Then one night a line is crossed that threatens to ruin her and break apart her family forever.
This series uses primary source evidence such as diaries, posters, newspaper cuttings and oral accounts to portray life on the Home Front. This title discusses the intense bombing of Great Britain by Germany in World War II - called the Blitz (Blitzkrieg).

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