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Kate Hannigan's Girl

New or Used: 5 copies from $4.94
New or Used: 5 copies from $4.94

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Catherine Cookson s one hundredth published book, set in her beloved north-east, in which she brings all her talents as a storyteller to capture the conflicts of class and religion and of growing up in a rapidly changing society.

About the Author

Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for the best regional novel of 1968 - her readership quickly spread throughout the world, and her many best-selling novels established her as one of the most popular of contemporary women novelists. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She was appointed an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford, in 1997. For many years she lived near Newcastle upon Tyne. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998.


Cookson's 100th book, posthumously published, rounds off her oeuvre, but is more memorable for its landmark status than its content. Set in England's Northumberland countryside in the early 20th century, it takes up the story line from a previous book featuring Kate Hannigan and Kate's illegitimate daughter, Annie. Though Kate is now married to the wealthy and kind Dr. Rodney Prince, neither Kate nor Annie has forgotten their humble origins. Teenage Annie, in particular, is stung by accusations that her mother wasn't married when Annie was born. Then Terence Macbane, a slightly older local boy, returns home from Oxford. Ashamed of his own wrong-side-of-the-tracks upbringing, he finds himself strongly attracted to Annie despite her dubious past. But interference in the form of racy and determined Cathleen, Annie's perpetual rival, threatens to tear them apart. Will Annie be able to find the strength to overcome Cathleen? As a heroine, Annie's a bit too tearily immature, her musings more pathetic than sympathetic. Much more fun is bad-girl Cathleen, whose role as spoiler adds some spice to the treacle. Musings on Catholicism as solace embellish the tale, and lashings of melodrama heighten the suspense, although it tends to be of the "all's well that ends well" variety. Cookson wrote better, and more satisfying, novels. It would be a shame if she were remembered for such piffle. Agent, Sheila Land Associates. (Feb. 13) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Humour, toughness, resolution and generosity are Cookson virtues...In the specialised world of women's popular fiction, Cookson has created her own territory" -- Helen Dunmore * The Times *

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