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Instances of the Number 3

New or Used: 3 copies from $4.94
New or Used: 3 copies from $4.94

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/ Includes PS Section The fantastic new edition of the bestselling second novel from the author of 'Miss Garnet's Angel'. / The reissue of this bestselling novel to co-incide with the paperback publication of 'The Other Side of You' from Salley Vickers. / 'Instances of the Number 3' has sold over 74,000 copies in the UK and 'The Other Side of You' has sold over 13,000 copies in hardback since publication. / Will be published with a stunning new cover treatment designed to attract an even wider readership to this bestselling novel. / Competition: Joanne Harris, Tracy Chevalier

About the Author

Salley Vickers divides her time between London and Venice. Previously a university lecturer in English, when not writing she practices as a psychologist and still lectures widely on the connections between literature, psychology and religion.


Following the accidental death of Peter Hansome, his wife and mistress come together in a relationship built more out of mutual curiosity than mutual affection. Bridget, the former wife, a shopkeeper whose wares include vintage clothing and goods, copes with her grief by purchasing a house in the country, befriending the local chimney sweep (whose occupation belies his literary bent), and taking in a mysterious Iranian student who claims to have been a protg of Peter. Frances, the mistress, is an art dealer who begins a tepid affair with a young sculptor and takes in the same Iranian student after Bridget throws him out. Both women are also haunted by the benign ghost of Peter, although only Bridget is aware of his presence. While not quite as charming as the wonderful Miss Garnet's Angel, this genial coming-of-middle-age novel should appeal to the same type of readers women of a certain age for whom a well-told story about intelligent women learning to deal with life's vicissitudes is the perfect cup of tea. For most public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/01.] Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

'Salley Vickers is a remarkable optimist. She shows that happiness can be found even after it seems to have died.' David Sexton, Evening Standard 'Gentleness of perception and sharpness of intellect!sustains you long after the last page.' Bel Mooney, The Times 'Admirable. Salley Vickers has a way with persuasive characters and crisp narrative.' Penelope Lively, Independent 'Vickers writes sympathetically about the bereaved women as they remake their lives.' Margaret Walter, Sunday Times 'Studded with observations and asides that stop you in your tracks.' Julie Wheelwright, Scotland on Sunday 'The reader glides through it effortlessly. The plot is simple, yet has an amazing amount of narrative power. Vickers' second novel confirms that she will have a long and outstanding career.' Martyn Goff, The Times 'Lovely. Distinctive grace.' Murrough O'Brien, Daily Telegraph 'Her voice rings true and strong.' Jane Gardam, Spectator

The classic threesome husband, wife, mistress proves mathematically unstable in Vickers's profound comic novel (following her debut, Miss Garnet's Angel). When 62-year-old Londoner Peter Hansome dies in a car crash, his widow, Bridget, and his mistress, Frances, develop an awkward intimacy cemented by their shared loss. But before Bridget can come to terms with Peter's absence, a "breathtaking" young Iranian man named Zahin arrives to see Peter and winds up moving in as houseguest/housekeeper. Zahin is charming deferential and superhumanly industrious, he fills the air with the "satisfying scent of lavender Pledge" but there's also something unsettling about his presence, which drives Bridget to her Shropshire cottage, where she meets Stanley Godwit, a Shakespeare-loving chimney sweep. Frances, too, finds unexpected joy as she learns to make sense of life without Peter. But Peter is never actually gone, as his ghost watches over his former "consorts." This ghost is no jealous meddler; he's more ambiguous, prompting Bridget to meditate on the ambiguity of the ghost in Hamlet and on her own uneasy Catholicism. Though Vickers begins unpromisingly by adopting a pedantic tone, she abandons this posture soon enough, allowing her appealing characters to bloom as the world opens up to them in surprising but logical ways. Philosophical concerns are woven seamlessly with earthly incident, so that bad cocktail parties resonate and good bubble baths matter. In the tradition of the late Iris Murdoch, this extraordinary book will inspire and delight. 6-city author tour. (Apr.) Forecast: Miss Garnet's Angel touched a chord with its perceptive take on middle-aged self-discovery. Vickers's latest, with its lovely Botticelli jacket, should amply satisfy fans and more firmly establish Vickers in this country. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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