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Free on 8th Dec 16
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Sarah Marchley is eleven years old when her mother dies. Completely unprepared and suffering an acute sense of loss, she and her father continue quietly, trying to live by the well-intentioned advice of friends, hoping that time really is a great healer and that they will, eventually, move on.

Life changes very little until Sarah leaves for university and begins her first serious relationship. Along with her new boyfriend comes his mother, the indomitable Hazel Poole. Despite some misgivings, Sarah finds herself drawn into the matriarchal Poole family and discovers that gaining a mother figure in her life brings mixed blessings.

Looking Past is a tale of family, friendship, love, life and death – not necessarily in that order.

This is the second novel from Katharine E. Smith, author of Writing the Town Read. The narrator’s voice is clear and strong, with vivid descriptions and intelligent observations. Readers will quickly empathise with Sarah, the sadness of whose circumstances is contrasted with a dry and sometimes subtle humour derived from situations and characters which help colour the book.

Smith’s readers have praised her honesty, realism, warmth and humour. Both Looking Past and Writing the Town Read – Katharine’s first novel – are written from a strong female first person perspective. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this is chick lit – or indeed exclusively women’s fiction. Looking Past has received praise from a number of male readers, including an ex-US Marine. You don’t get much more macho than that! Nevertheless, this is a story guaranteed to strike a chord with mothers, daughters – and daughters-in-law – everywhere.

The dual settings of Yorkshire and Cornwall will interest people with strong links to those places but the characters and events hold universal appeal. This is a book for people who like people.

Free on 8th Dec 16
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