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Long Way from Verona (Abacus Books)
by Jane Gardam
ISBN 0349114056 / 9780349114057 / 0-349-11405-6
Publisher Little Brown UK
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'I ought to tell you at the beginning that I am not quite normal having had a violent experience at the age of nine' Jessica Vye's 'violent experience' colours her schooldays and her reaction to the world around her- a confining world of Order Marks, wartime restrictions, viyella dresses, nicely-restrained essays and dusty tea shops. For Jessica she has been told that she is 'beyond all possible doubt', a born writer. With her inability to conform, her absolute compulsion to tell the truth and her dedication to accurately noting her experiences, she knows this anyway. But what she doesn't know is that the experiences that sustain and enrich her burgeoning talent will one day lead to a new- and entirely unexpected- reality. [via]