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First novels: When romance develops from an old photograph

Helene Gestern's People in the Photo deserves all its accolades; Ghost Moth and Land Where I Flee are good, too

22 February 2014

9:00 AM

22 February 2014

9:00 AM

Ghost Moth Michèle Forbes

Weidenfeld, pp.272, £12.99, ISBN: 9780297870449

Land Where I Flee Prajwal Parajuly

Quercus, pp.272, £16.99, ISBN: 9781780872971

The People in the Photo Hélène Gestern

Gallic, pp.208, £8.99, ISBN: 9781908313546

The intensely lyrical Ghost Moth is set in Belfast in 1969, as the Troubles begin and when Katherine, housewife and mother of four, finds herself remembering an old love affair. Michèle Forbes achieves a vivid depiction of family life — the daily squabbles and teasing, the nuances of Katherine’s love for her children through a haze of exhaustion, one daughter’s struggle to be liked by bullying friends and another’s blushingly awkward first crush.

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