How It Was
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How It Was : the immersive, compelling new novel from the author of The Butcher's Hook

3.54 (59 ratings by Goodreads)
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'IMMERSIVE, AMAZING, REMARKABLE' MARIAN KEYES
'JANET ELLIS WRITES WITH TENDERNESS AND WISDOM' ERIN KELLY
'AN ATMOSPHERIC, CLEVER NOVEL THAT WILL GET UNDER YOUR SKIN' RED

Marion Deacon sits by the hospital bed of her dying husband, Michael. Outwardly she is, as she says, an unremarkable old woman. She has long concealed her history - and her feelings - from the casual observer. But as she sits by Michael's bed, she's haunted by memories from almost forty years ago . . .

Marion Deacon is a wife and mother, and not particularly good at being either. It's the 1970s and in her small village the Swinging 60s, the wave of feminism, the prospect of an exciting life, have all swerved past her. Reading her teenage daughter's diary, it seems that Sarah is on the threshold of getting everything her mother Marion was denied, and Marion cannot bear it - what she does next has terrible and heart-breaking consequences for the whole family.

Janet Ellis writes of the exquisite pain of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the complexity of family and a mother-daughter relationship that is as memorable as it is utterly believable.

'ELLIS WRITES BEAUTIFULLY' DAILY MAIL
'AN EMOTIONAL EPIC' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
'AFFECTING, ENGAGING AND READABLE' OBSERVER
'A TALE OF SILENCES, SECRETS AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS' MAIL ON SUNDAY
'ENGROSSING' MIRROR
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Product details

  • Hardback | 448 pages
  • 132 x 220 x 42mm | 560g
  • Two Roads
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1473625173
  • 9781473625174
  • 398,325

Review quote

Lolita meets Madame Bovary . . . Ellis writes fantastically * Herald Publicist * I ate this up in one day . . . it has such great characters and very realistic, imperfect relationships. A thoroughly immersive story that I would heartily recommend. * Bookish Chat * I absolutely loved it. The careful evocation of an era is incredibly seductive . . . These are real, believable, fragile people whose lives the reader becomes totally immersed in and gripped by. * Imogen Parker * Wonderfully evocative, immersive and beautifully written * Kate Eberlen * Heartbreaking - I would definitely recommend. It's going to be a very popular summer read. * Jen Campbell * A brilliantly written, dark domestic noir * Simon Savidge * Explores the human condition with pin-sharp precision, so accurate it hurts. It's a raw read, complex and compelling in its structure, with emotions laid bare. Written with empathy and integrity. * Lynne Parker * It's wonderful. A brutal tale of a fraught mother-daughter relationship. The writing fizzes along. Loved it. * Emma Kennedy * Poignant, cleverly nuanced and funny * Sunday Post * Cataclysmic * Radio Times * An emotional read with humour and heartbreak in equal measure * Daily Express * An engrossing read . . . a story of family secrets and twisted relationships * Mirror * An emotional epic. The former TV presenter's debut novel, The Butcher's Hook, was great, and this second one is also terrific, particularly in the way she writes about mother-daughter relationships. * Good Housekeeping * A tale of silences, secrets and misunderstandings, of marital infidelities and of paths not taken . . . A fluent, convincing depiction of the poignant intricacies of family life * Mail on Sunday * An atmospheric, clever novel, which will get under your skin -- Sarra Manning * Red * Ellis writes beautifully, with a great eye for detail. She has a wry comic touch and all the emotions are spot on. * Daily Mail * Ellis has a knack for depicting the way in which families struggle to communicate . . . engaging and readable * Observer * You will love this - immersive, amazing, remarkable, I could barely breathe. I cried - and I never cry. * Marian Keyes *
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About Janet Ellis

Actress, presenter and author Janet Ellis trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Best known for presenting Blue Peter, she stars in numerous radio and TV programmes and in 2018 appeared at the Edinburgh Festival. In 2016 Janet was awarded an MBE for services to charities and theatre.

A graduate of the Curtis Brown creative writing course, her debut novel, The Butcher's Hook, was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize.

janetellis.com
twitter.com/missjanetellis
instagram.com/missjanetellis
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Rating details

59 ratings
3.54 out of 5 stars
5 19% (11)
4 34% (20)
3 34% (20)
2 10% (6)
1 3% (2)
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