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We Are All Made of Glue
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From bonding to bondage, from B&Q to Belarus, along with seven smelly cats, three useless handymen, two slimy estate agents, social workers, a bonker lady. The story of a very unlikely friendship.Georgie Sinclair's husband has walked out; her sixteen-year-old son is busy surfing born-again websites; and all those overdue articles for Adhesives in the Modern World are getting her down. So when Georgie spots Mrs Shapiro, an eccentric old Jewish emigre neighbour with an eye for a bargain and a fondness for matchmaking, rummaging through her skip in the middle of the night, it's just the distraction she needs. And although they mistrust each other at first - Georgie doesn't like the look of that past-its-sell-by-date fish, while Mrs Shapiro thinks Georgie needs to smarten herself up and grab a new husband - a firm friendship is formed over the reduced-price shelf at the supermarket. Then Mrs Shapiro is admitted to hospital and to Georgie's surprise, she is named as her next of kin. But sorting out Mrs Shapiro's semi-derelict mansion in Highbury, home to seven stinky cats with agendas of their own, is no easy job when the handyman called in to change the locks turns out to be not what he seems and his two assistants, 'the Uselesses', are doing more breaking than fixing. And what about the two slimy estate agents (one with a charming taste for bondage) who start competing to trick Mrs Shapiro into selling her rickety old house, or the social worker determined to commit her to a nursing home? As Georgie steps in to help her new friend, she finds herself unravelling a mystery which takes her from Highbury to wartime Europe to the Middle East, and learning a bit about DIY along the way.
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About the Author

Marina Lewycka was born in Kiel, Germany at the end of the war and grew up in England. She is married with a grown-up daughter and lives in Sheffield. Her two previous novels, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and Two Caravans, are available in Penguin now.

Reviews

An exuberantly comic writer whose work is characterised by both great humanity and unusual charm * Evening Standard * A witty, touching story about an unlikely friendship * Express * Gorgeously funny * Independent * Had me crying with laughter * Daily Telegraph * Vibrant dialogue, a family in meltdown, a clash of cultures and wonderful cast of expertly observed characters. Pure laugh-out-loud social comedy * Daily Mail * Hilarious. A big-hearted confection of the comic and the poignant * Literary Review * A big, bustling novel, told with enthusiasm by a narrator who is warm, winningly disaster-prone and, crucially, believable * Spectator * Georgie is a lively, intensely sympathetic narrator ... brimming with warmth and busyness * Guardian * Marina Lewycka is an instantly likeable writer, funny, intelligent and refreshingly generous in her assessments of people and their motivations. She writes about modern life so well. An extremely enjoyable read * New Statesman * Uplifting. Lewycka's style is so appealing, so friendly * Sunday Times * A truly engaging and funny book * Woman * Lewycka is a good, serious writer with a strong, original voice * Sunday Telegraph * A very funny and touching story of a friendship and a mystery unravelled * Woman & Home *

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