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Pure fiction
Highmore, Julie.
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Publication Information:
London : Review, 2003.
Physical Description:
329 pages ; 21 cm
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Looking for a good book? Try Pure Fiction...

When the local library starts up a reading group, Ed is the first to sign up. Left home alone with baby Georgia once too often, he's looking for something more stimulating than the latest draft of his tiresome thesis.

His fellow readers all have their own reasons for the weekly escape. Kate's social life is at a standstill and her quirky furniture shop barely breaks even. Zoe's self-esteem is regularly battered by her married lover. Semi-retired Bob, strongly encouraged by his wife, needs to get out of the house more. Donna, aged twenty-one and a mother of two, is desperate to feed her mind and catch up on her education. When English lecturer, Gideon, arrives, his literary certainties spark rivalries and emotions that no one expected. As the reading circle draws its members into an unlikely community, the plots become increasingly outlandish, and their lives grow ever more entwined ...

Author Notes

Julie Highmore was born in Surrey. She has worked as a reader for OUP Children's Books, copy-edited academic work and taught English. She lives in Oxford and has three independent grown-up children.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Highmore's addictive second novel, set in Oxford, is basically a literary soap opera. When Bronwen, the local librarian, starts a reading group, she has no idea that her enrollees are there for reasons other than a thirst for literature. Ed is a househusband who simply wants to get out one night a week. Kate, a fortyish and unattached furniture restorer, is looking for someone new. Bob is literally pushed to join by his wife, who thinks his retirement has left him too much time at home. Advertising exec Zoe needs something to take her mind off her increasingly kinky affair with a member of Parliament. She drags along her friend, Gideon, who has recently landed on her doorstep. As the months pass, this quirky cast of characters plays a grown-up game of musical chairs, becoming involved with one another in odd combinations. Ostensibly about novels, the book meetings quickly turn to gossip and mayhem, as Highmore manages to combine Northern Exposure and Rosamunde Pilcher with hilarious results. --Deborah Donovan Copyright 2004 Booklist