An intriguing mixture of stories, all in Leela Dutt’s inimitable
style – something here for everyone, and beautifully illustrated by Kate
Some are short and funny, some poignant – widows faced with losing their grandchildren, a daughter burying her father and dealing with a domineering mother. One endearing narrator is not human at all but still strikes a chord with us. Time travellers visit Hans Andersen’s Copenhagen; a young German boy is welcomed by some but by no means all in Hertfordshire just after the war. Perilous adventures in a hire car in the south of France are described by a lad who is unaware that at the very moment he’s telling us about his family holiday, London is under attack. A young Japanese car manufacturer encounters the strange people of the South Wales Valleys – and their grandfather who was a prisoner of war in Burma. Finally the life story of a Quaker celebrating her ninetieth birthday at the end of the century.
Leela Dutt’s collection Fresh Beginnings will warm your heart and stay in your mind – it might even make you laugh!
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