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The Widow Ginger

by Pip Granger

PUBLISHED: 15th March 2003
ISBN: 9780552148962
ANNOTATION:
It is 1954, and Rosie and Auntie Maggie are opening up their cafe in Old Compton Street when the Widow Ginger comes to call. An ex-GI with ice-cold blue eyes, he has unfinished business with Uncle Bert. At the same time, Rosie's best friend Jenny seems to have some mysterious illness.
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OTHER FORMATS:
PUBLISHED: 15th March 2003
ISBN: 9780552148962
ANNOTATION:
It is 1954, and Rosie and Auntie Maggie are opening up their cafe in Old Compton Street when the Widow Ginger comes to call. An ex-GI with ice-cold blue eyes, he has unfinished business with Uncle Bert. At the same time, Rosie's best friend Jenny seems to have some mysterious illness.

Annotation

It is 1954, and Rosie and Auntie Maggie are opening up their cafe in Old Compton Street when the Widow Ginger comes to call. An ex-GI with ice-cold blue eyes, he has unfinished business with Uncle Bert. At the same time, Rosie's best friend Jenny seems to have some mysterious illness.

Publisher Description

It is 1954, the year Roger Bannister won the four-minute mile. Rosie, and her beloved Auntie Maggie are opening up their café in Old Compton Street for Uncle Bert's breakfast special when the Widow Ginger comes to call. The Widow Ginger, an ex-GI with ice-cold blue eyes, is especially scary. He has unfinished business with Uncle Bert - business that includes being cheated on his share of a 'liberated' lorry-load of guns and explosives during the War - and he intends to make sure he now gets paid in full. And this isn't all: the lovely Luigi appears to be suffering from a severe case of unrequited lust; Bert and local Mafioso Maltese Joe have had an acrimonious falling-out; and, most worrying of all, Rosie's best friend Jenny has begun to keel over mysteriously in the school playground. With a cast of colourful characters with wonderful names like Sugar Plum Flaherty and Bandy Bunion, Soho streets so authentic you can lean out and touch them, and a story that will make you laugh and cry, The Widow Ginger is another heart-warming novel that will establish Pip as the queen of London saga-writers.

Back Cover

It is 1954, the year Roger Bannister ran the four-minute mile, and Rosie and her beloved Auntie Maggie are opening up their cafe in Old Compton Street for Uncle Bert's breakfast special when the Widow Ginger comes to call. The Widow Ginger, an ex-GI with ice-cold eyes, has unfinished business with Uncle Bert - business that includes being cheated on his share of a 'liberated' lorry-load of guns and explosives during the War - and he intends to make sure he gets paid in full. And this isn't all: the lovely Luigi appears to be suffering from a severe case of unrequited lust; Bert and the local Mafioso Maltese Joe have had an acrimonious falling-out; and, most worrying of all, Rosie's best friend Jenny has begun to keel over in the school playground.

Author Biography

Part of Pip Granger's early childhood was spent in the back seat of a light aircraft as her father smuggled brandy, tobacco and books across the English Channel to be sold in 1950s Soho, where she lived above the Two Is Cafe in Old Compton Street. She travelled in Europe and Asia in the 1960s and '70s, and worked as a Special Needs teacher in Hackney in the 1980s, before quitting teaching to pursue her long-cherished ambition to write. She now lives in the West Country with her husband and pets.

Pip Granger's novels, Not All Tarts Are Apple, which won the Harry Bowling Prize for fiction, The Widow Ginger, and Trouble in Paradise are all available as Corgi paperbacks.

Table of Contents

It is 1954, the year Roger Bannister won the four-minute mile. Rosie, and her beloved Auntie Maggie are opening up their cafe in Old Compton Street for Uncle Bert's breakfast special when the Widow Ginger comes to call. The Widow Ginger, an ex-GI with ice-cold blue eyes, is especially scary. He has unfinished business with Uncle Bert - business that includes being cheated on his share of a 'liberated' lorry-load of guns and explosives during the War - and he intends to make sure he now gets paid in full. And this isn't all: the lovely Luigi appears to be suffering from a severe case of unrequited lust; Bert and the local Mafioso Maltese Joe have had an acrimonious falling-out; and, most worrying of all, Rosie's best friend Jenny has begun to keel over mysteriously in the school playground. With a cast of colourful characters with wonderful names like Sugar Plum Flaherty and Bandy Bunion, Soho streets so authentic you can lean out and touch them, and a story that will make you laugh and cry, The Widow Ginger is another heart-warming novel that will establish Pip as the queen of London saga-writers.

Review

"'Packed with sharp authentic detail, this tale told through a child's eyes brings to life a colourful world of great characters from a bygone age.'" Home & Country "'A carnival atmosphere that's tinged with a little sadness.'" Woman's Own "'Celebrates the colourful characters and atmosphere of 1950s Soho, where this queen of London saga-writers grew up.'" What's On In London "'A colourful, deeply nostalgic evocation of Soho in the Fifties, drawing heavily on the author's own childhood.'" Choice

Kirkus UK Review

From the author of the Harry Bowling Prize-winning Not All Tarts Are Apple comes this second helping of Rosie Fetherby's life in a postwar Soho cafe. A mysterious stranger appears, bearing ill will towards Rosie's beloved Uncle Bert, Auntie Maggie and the whole extended family of colourful characters: Madame Zelda, the soothsayer; dreamy Luigi, the local Prince Charming; Sugar, the drag queen; Bandy, the nightclub proprietress; and Maltese Joe, Uncle Bert's shady childhood chum. The sinister 'Widow Ginger', an American soldier, returns from prison to exact revenge and generally cause trouble, setting fires and threatening locals. What follows is a patchwork of gossip collected by Rosie, the seven-year-old narrator. The story unfolds over a vast expanse of laps, tabletops, keyholes and corners as the nosy Rosie tries to find out what's going on, but her concerns aren't solely on the threatening Widow - there's also Luigi's attempts to woo newcomer Betty Potts, as well as the nasty illness afflicting Rosie's best friend Jenny. And let's not forget the policeman T.C. - could he really be Rosie's father? This is an enjoyable, often humorous story of its time, and the use of Rosie as the eyes and ears of the narrative gives it a liveliness that lifts it above most of its competitors in the saga market. But ultimately it suffers from an inconsistent, melodramatic plot and the overbearing precocity of its narrator. Rosie talks too much: her first-person narration is ineffectual, denying the reader the opportunity to see events in action. The dialogue is so heavy on slang, similes and turns of phrase that it sounds forced. Additionally, the characterization is such that one feels forced into liking and respecting the characters simply because Rosie says you should. She presumes her word is enough; unfortunately, that's the trouble with the whole book. As the only child in a world of grown-ups, Rosie has a self-centred point of view that heavily influences her narrative, making her character more cheeky than charming. (Kirkus UK)

Review Text

'Packed with sharp authentic detail, this tale told through a child's eyes brings to life a colourful world of great characters from a bygone age.'

Promotional "Headline"

Written with all of Pip Granger's warmth, humour, compassion and 1950's authenticity, a second 'Rosie' novel, and a follow-up to Not All Tarts Are Apple.

Product Details

Publisher
Transworld Publishers Ltd
Year
2003
ISBN-10
0552148962
ISBN-13
9780552148962
Format
Paperback
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Media
Book
Pages
400
Author
Pip Granger
Publication Date
2003-03-15
Audience
General/Trade