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Margaret Leaving


Website(s) Website 
Genres Literary Fiction, Mystery
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Margaret Leaving is the story of Jenny North from the moment Margaret leaves home to the moment Jenny decides to return to her true family.

In 1967, in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, there is a family. The family is William North, Margaret North and Jenny North. One Friday evening Jenny gets home from school to discover Margaret has left and her father does not know why, or so he says, and Jenny’s secure life starts to unravel. Her neighbor, the cheerful and capable Emily, has opinions and half-revealed knowledge about her parents’ relationship. Her father, the self-effacing William, accuses her of a degree of relationship with her schoolfriend Bev that Jenny had never imagined and William starts to behave in way that is both threatening and dangerous.

But before all this, on the day after Margaret leaves, Jenny decides to walk to Oxford, some fifty miles from Maidenhead, because it represents the land of the intellect so beloved of Margaret. On the outskirts of Maidenhead she hitches a ride with Alan, an engineering student with a gift for music and making old things work again. He will become the third person, along with Emily and Bev, who will stand by Jenny in her fifteen-year search for the truth about Margaret.

But truth is a slippery companion. What Jenny can know, what she does get to know and what she imagines knowing are not all the same. Even when pieced together, like the shattered remains of a stained-glass window, the unearthed bits of history are not Margaret.

Margaret left because she was haunted by her past. Jenny is haunted by Margaret. Only in her present will Jenny find a way forward.

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