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From the Heart
By

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You're a young woman. You can choose. Which career to pursue. Who to have sex with. Who to marry and have children - or not - with. This is now. Step into the shoes of Olive. You're a happy, open-hearted girl. Your (tricky) mother is dead and you live with your father in a solid, Edwardian house with apple trees in the garden. Your passion for books gets you easily into university, where the world is surely waiting for you. There, you meet a boy. But then you make a mistake - the kind any one of us could make - and face an impossible choice. You are young, still, and full of hope. You can't possibly know how that mistake will sit in your heart. Or that when you get a job at a school you will fall in love with an older colleague. But the affair must stay secret; the world won't have it any other way. All you have ever wanted is for your heart to be free. But you are living in a time and place where freedoms we now take for granted had the power to destroy. PRAISE FOR SUSAN HILL 'Subtle and profoundly moving... one of our finest novelists' Sunday Times 'Almost unbearably poignant... this short book will live long in the memory' Independent on Sunday 'A novel of great structural and stylistic control' Guardian
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About the Author

Susan Hill has been a professional writer for over fifty years. Her books have won awards and prizes including the Whitbread, the John Llewellyn Rhys and the Somerset Maugham; and have been shortlisted for the Booker. She was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Honours. Her novels include Strange Meeting, I'm the King of the Castle, In the Springtime of the Year and A Kind Man. She has also published autobiographical works and collections of short stories as well as the Simon Serrailler series of crime novels. The play of her ghost story The Woman in Black has been running in London's West End since 1988. She has two adult daughters and lives in North Norfolk.

Reviews

"A quietly shattering coming-of-age story set in the late Fifties and early Sixties ... Hill's storytelling is vivid, yet spare. From the Heart is a captivating portrait of a woman caught in the wrong era. This slender novel could be devoured in an afternoon, but it has an unsettling quality that will stay with the reader long after it is finished" -- Violet Hudson * Daily Telegraph * "The novel is at times almost unbearably painful as Olive attempts to make sense of a world for which she has been poorly prepared... A short but stunning achievement" -- Vanessa Berridge * Daily Express * "From the Heart is a coming-of-age story that embeds different forms of recognition... It keeps you guessing to the end. Its heroine learns things, and so does the reader - the chief one being never to underrate Susan Hill" -- David Grylls * Sunday Times * "What Hill conveys beautifully is the agony of all that is left unsaid in relationships. It is, ultimately, a novel about love: about the dilemmas we face when we are not permitted to live in the way that we wish" * Observer * "Susan Hill's stylistic approach to writing is one of the stand-out features of this novel -- fast-paced and punchy, with an attention to detail that powerfully reflects Olive's inner turmoil ... her naivete, combined with her struggle to find contentment, is both poignant and hugely endearing" -- Erin Bateman * Irish News * "From the Heart never descends into sentimentality. Olive is a satisfyingly complex protagonist drawn with unerring but minimal strokes... captivating" -- Stephanie Cross * Daily Mail * "Truly startling" -- Melissa Katsoulis * Times * "There is an understated elegance to this tale of heartbreak and thwarted potential. Olive Piper is an appealing heroine... But secrecy, claustrophobic convention and an unexpected betrayal undermine her hope and happiness" -- Eithne Farry * Mail on Sunday * "Hill explores with great economy an idea of the ubiquity of differentness... From the Heart shows Susan Hill working in a consciously spare, undecorated style: the novel moves quickly, its sentiments pithily expressed. Such sparseness is central to its impact" -- Matthew Dennison * Spectator * "From the Heart is the perfect antidote to online hysteria ... Stoic, [Olive] deals with inner turmoil with a measured control which is reflected in Hill's pared back writing. The descriptions of her intense feelings, when they come, are therefore all the more powerful" -- Kirsty McLuckie * The Scotsman * "Sparely told and very moving" -- Fanny Blake * Woman & Home * "With great skill and poignancy, [From the Heart] charts 'the shift from being a girl to being a woman' and the devastation that ensues from bad judgement, wrong decisions and illicit desires ... So well drawn is her heroine, and so keenly realised her predicaments and misfortunes, that we feel for her at every turn ... [A] captivating book, one rich with subtle and sudden drama" -- Malcolm Forbes * The Herald * "Pared back and elegant, this novel from the author of The Woman in Black packs a huge emotional punch" * Psychologies * "This short, sad novel conveys a wealth of emotion and will hold you fast from the first page" -- Vanessa Berridge * Sunday Express * "Devastatingly precise and moving... It felt right, true. There is nothing sentimental about it. It is told with a cleanness that allowed me all the space in the world to feel" -- Rachel Joyce

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