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Harnessing Peacocks

Hebe listens in the darkness of the hall to a family conference. The stern hypocrisy of her grandfather is winning the day. He has summoned her three horsey sisters' successful husbands and they are discussing Hebe's unexpected pregnancy. The decision, unanimous, is that it be terminated. Hebe, dissenting, flees into the night. Twelve summers later she is living happily alone with her son in a seaside town in Cornwall. He is receiving an expensive education. Hebe has organised her life oddly but well. She has two chief talents in life - cooking and making love - and these she has exercised with dignity, in privacy and for profit. It is when separate strands of the web of Hebe's life become entangled that the even tenor of her days is threatened, and her life is changed.
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A single mother's scandalous past returns to complicate the present in this deftly-plotted comedy by the beloved Mary Wesley.

About the Author

Mary Wesley was born near Windsor in 1912. Her education took her to the London School of Economics and during the War she worked in the War Office. Although she initially fulfilled her parent's expectations in marrying an aristocrat she then scandalised them when she divorced him in 1945 and moved in with the great love of her life, Eric Siepmann. The couple married in 1952, once his wife had finally been persuaded to divorce him. She used to comment that her 'chief claim to fame is arrested development, getting my first novel Jumping the Queue published at the age of seventy'. She went on to write a further nine novels, three of which were adapted for television, including the best-selling The Camomile Lawn. Mary Wesley was awarded the CBE in the 1995 New Year's honour list and died in 2002.


"Delightful, intelligent entertainment" * Sunday Telegraph * "Tremendously lively, very funny, touching, spirited" * Susan Hill * "Hugely enjoyable" -- Nicholas Shakespeare * The Times * "Warm, wise, witty, sexy" * Boston Globe *

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