Magpie

novel, published by Sceptre November 1998. Winner of the London Arts Board New Writers Award.

‘A wise and forgiving novel.’
– Christopher Hart, The Observer

When Liliy Waite, young and optimistic, puts Yorkshire behind her and arrives in London with her five-year-old son, she’s mysteriously lacking in home, husband or belongings. At first she’s in at the deep end, newly broke, newly a single parent, but soon things are going swimmingly and, after surprising herself by falling in love with her Jamaican naighbour, she eventually learns that losing everything can be a great place to start.

‘Lily walks between loneliness and defiance, wretchedness and quiet triumph; it’s a delicate line and Jill Dawson achieves it with style, humour and honesty.’
– Roddy Doyle

‘A cracking page-turner of a novel, written with consummate skill and feeling. This wholly contemporary story of love and survival in the city is free of cliche and full of surprises.’
– Judy Cooke, The Mail on Sunday

‘A beautifully evocative novel about loneliness, friendship and love. Seldom has inner-city London been depicted with such passion, and peopled with such a disparate array of characters, all of whom remain totally convincing and linger in the memory long after the final page.’
– Caryl Phillips

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