My choice for this week comes from Learning to Swim by Clare Chambers, a novel set in England in the 1970s and 80s dealing with childhood and family relationships.

“Loyalty never goes unpunished. My father said that once when he was passed over for promotion at work and I’ve never forgotten it.”


Abigail Jex never expected to see any of the Radley household again. In dramatic contrast to her own conventional family, the Radleys were extraordinary, captivating creatures transplanted from a bohemian corner of North London to outer suburbia, and the young Abigail found herself drawn into their magic circle: the eccentric Frances, her new best friend; Frances’ mother, the liberated, headstrong Lexi; and of course the brilliant, beautiful Rad.
Abigail thought she’d banished the ghost of her life with them and the catastrophe that ended it, but thirteen years later a chance encounter forces her to acknowledge that the spell is far from broken …