First Love (Hardback)
  • First Love (Hardback)
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First Love (Hardback)

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£12.99
Hardback 176 Pages / Published: 02/02/2017
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Shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017

When we cuddle in bed at night, he says, ‘I love you so much!’ or ‘You’re such a lovely little person!’ There are pet names, too. I’m ‘little smelly puss’ before a bath, and ‘little cleany puss’ in my towel on the  landing after one; in my dungarees I’m ‘you little Herbert!”…

There have been other names, of course.

What do we sacrifice of ourselves to cleave to another person?

Neve is a writer in her mid-30s married to an older man, Edwyn. For now they are in a place of relative peace, but their past battles have left scars.

As Neve recalls the decisions that led her to this marriage, she tells of other loves and other debts, from her bullying father and her self-involved mother to a musician who played her and a series of lonely flights from place to place. Drawing the reader into the battleground of her relationship, Neve spins a story of helplessness and hostility, an ongoing conflict in which both husband and wife have played a part.

But is this, nonetheless, also a story of love?

‘An unflinching portrait of a marital trade-off between intimacy and freedom’ – The FT

A precocious talent, Gwendoline Riley wrote her first novel, Cold Water, whilst still at university. An expert in the minutiae of personal relationships her other novels are: Sick Notes, Joshua Spassky (which won the 2008 Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the 2007 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Opposed Positions, and First Love.

Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781783783182
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 243 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 10 mm

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Reviews

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“Different shades of love....”

This is a story of thirty-something Neve married to an unwell older man Edwyn. In a series of stories, going back and forth in time and moving between London, Manchester and Glasgow, Neve tells the intimate tale of... More

Hardback edition
29th January 2017
Helpful? Upvote 99

“Devastating yet compelling.”

Delighted at last to discover the writing of Gwendoline Riley and her latest novel First Love which you may think could well be a love story, actually this is something yet more terrifying in an all-consuming little... More

Hardback edition
21st February 2017
Helpful? Upvote 71

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