Look, Stranger

Pan Macmillan
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When Matthew Vereker arrives from the American Mid-West on a year's exchange as vicar of All Hallows on Helmsley Island, he thinks there are no people in England, but only 'members of classes dying behind their stockades'. He soon finds that the reality is more complicated. Helmsley Island, once known as Smugglers' Island, is cluttered with smart bungalows, decaying cottages, day trippers, squatters, archaeologists, agitators - and the ghosts of nuns who walk in the grounds of the old priory. Besides the normal if varied manifestations of Christianity there are the followers of the Ancient People, antedating Christianity, who dance in the nude at nights.

As summer moves into winter Vereker strives to cope with a variety of problems; his patchwork parish; his young daughter, Nan; Zoe and Tudor Lindsay, cousins and once lovers; Milo, the strange vital boy who looks for gods and finds one inside himself . . . There are some problems that arose before we came on the scene and will continue after we have left, but one problem perhaps Vereker can solve: his own. When the time approaches for him to return to America he knows that things will never be the same for him again.

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About the author

Born in in London in 1921, Mary was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Girls School, Acton. During the Second World War she served in the Women's Royal Naval Service (Wrens) attached to the Fleet Air Arm Meteorology branch and then briefly with the Signal Section in Plymouth.

Writing was in her blood. Juggling her work as a local government officer in Middlesex Education Department with writing, at first short stories for magazines and pieces for The Times Educational Supplement, she then had her first book, The Winter City, published in 1961.

The book was a success and enabled Mary to relinquish her full time occupation to devote her time to writing. Even so, when she came to her beloved Lewes in 1961, she still took a part-time appointment, as a secretary, with the East Sussex Educational Psychology department.

Long before family sagas had become cult viewing, she had embarked upon the 'Fairley Family' trilogy - Good Daughters, Indifferent Heroes, and Welcome Strangers - books which give her readers a faithful, realistic and uncompromising portrayal of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times, between the years of 1933 and 1946.

For many years she was an active member of the 'Monday Lit', a Lewes-based group which brought in current writers and poets to speak about their work. Equally, she was an enthusiastic supporter of Lewes Little Theatre, where she found her role as 'prompter' the most satisfying, and worshipped at the town's St Pancras RC Church.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Pan Macmillan
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Published on
Jul 14, 2016
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Pages
229
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ISBN
9781509819652
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Classics
Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A decorated former Air Force pilot. A pregnant flight attendant. A dedicated TSA agent. The fates of these three, and many others, converge in Danielle Steel’s gripping new novel—a heart-stopping thriller that engages ordinary men and women in the fight of their lives during a flight from New York to San Francisco.

On a beautiful May morning at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport, two planes have just departed for San Francisco—one a 757, another a smaller Airbus A321. At a security checkpoint, TSA agent Bernice Adams finds a postcard of the Golden Gate Bridge bearing an ambiguous—perhaps ominous—message. Her supervisor dismisses her concerns, but Bernice calls security and soon Ben Waterman arrives. A senior Homeland Security agent, still grappling with guilt after a disastrous operation in which hostages were killed, Ben too becomes suspicious. Who left the postcard behind, which flight is that person on, and what exactly does the message mean?

As Ben scans the passenger manifests, his focus turns to the A321, with Helen Smith as its senior pilot. Helen’s military service and her tenure with the airline have been exemplary. But her husband’s savage death in Iraq was more than anyone should bear, leaving her widowed with three children. A major film star is on board. So is an off-duty pilot who has just lost his forty-year career. So is a distraught father, traveling with the baby son he has abducted from his estranged wife. Sifting through data and relying on instinct, Ben becomes convinced that someone on Helen’s plane is planning something terrible. And he’s right. Passengers, crew, and experts on the ground become heroes out of necessity to try to avert tragedy at the eleventh hour.

In her stunning novel, Danielle Steel combines intense action with stories of emotionally rich, intertwined lives. As the jet bears down on its destination of San Francisco, strangers are united, desperate choices are made, and futures will be changed forever by a handful of accidental heroes.
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