- The Intruder by Gillian Tindall
Hodder, 286 pp, £5.95
- Mother Can You Hear Me? by Margaret Forster
Secker, 269 pp, £5.90
- Treasures of Time by Penelope Lively
Heinemann, 199 pp, £4.95
- Wild Nights by Emma Tennant
Cape, 134 pp, £4.50
It is a powerful act of make-believe to put all your foes together in a building and set fire to them; it has also happened in history. At many points throughout The Intruder fantasy and reality come together in this way. In the preface, Gillian Tindall states that she is not writing about identifiable people or places, yet what she relates is firmly based on actual events, including the final tragedy; it is also the stuff of nightmares. ‘History couldn’t possibly be true because it was too awful,’ Jane, the heroine, used to think as a child. This book is the story of her enlightenment.
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