Read A Perfect Life Online

Authors: Raffaella Barker

A Perfect Life (28 page)

BOOK: A Perfect Life
3.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Also Available by Raffaella Barker


Gabriella lives in a damp, ramshackle, book-strewn manor in Norfolk with her tempestuous poet father and unconventional mother. Alongside her ever-expanding set of siblings and half-siblings, numerous pets and her father's rag-tag admirers, Gabriella navigates a chaotic childhood of wild bohemian parties and fluctuating levels of poverty. Longing to be normal, Gabriella enrols in a strict day school, only to find herself balancing two very different lives. Struggling to keep the eccentricities of her family contained, her failure to achieve conformity amongst her peers is endearing, and absolute.

Come and Tell Me Some Lies
is Raffaella Barker's enchanting first novel – a humorous, bittersweet tale of a girl who longs to be normal, and a family that can't help be anything but.

‘Funny … Clever and touching'


Christy Naylor was forced to grow up quickly. Still reeling with anger after the death of her mother, she abandons college in order to help her father uproot from suburbia and start a new life on a swampy fish farm out in the sticks, a prize that he won in a shady game of poker.

Amid this turmoil, looms the mysterious Mick Fleet, tall, powerful and charismatic. Unsettled and unsure of herself, Christy is hooked on his intense charm. She knows nothing about him yet she feels like she is being swallowed up in his embrace and she plunges into a love affair blind to the catastrophe he will bring…

‘Stylish and insightful … With the pace and verve of a thriller'


When Venetia Summers' husband runs off with his masseuse, the bohemian idyll she has strived to create for her young family suddenly loses some of its rosy hue. From her tumble-down cottage in Norfolk she struggles to keep up with the chaos caused by her two boys, her splendid baby daughter and the hordes of animals, relatives and would-be artists that live in her home. From juggling errant cockerels, jam making frenzies and War Hammers, to unexpected romance, Bloody Mary's and forays into fashion design,
Hens Dancing
is like a rural
Bridget Jones' Diary
as it charts a year of Venetia's madcap household.

‘A positive hymn to provincial living, it is an entertaining celebration of family life with all its highs, lows and eccentricities'
The Times


Laura Sale has grown tired of her life. Her daily routine of dividing her time between pandering to the demands of her challenging conceptual artist husband, Inigo and those of their thirteen-year-old twins Dolly and Fred, has taken its toll. She longs to remember what makes her happy. A chance encounter with Guy, her first love, is the catalyst she needs, and she swaps North London for the rural idyll she grew up in. In her new Norfolk home Laura finds herself confronting old ghosts, ferrets, an ungracious goat and a collapsing relationship. As she starts to savour the space she has craved, and she takes control of her destiny, Laura finds it lit with possibility.

‘I love Raffaella Barker's books – so funny and acerbic' Maggie O'Farrell


On a freezing cold night in an unfamiliar city, a man meets a woman. The encounter lasts just moments, they part barely knowing one another's names, they make no plans to meet again. But both are left breathless.

Five years on they live thousands of miles apart and live totally separate lives, except that they both still think about that night. So when they meet again it seems clear that they will do all they can to try and stay together, but can it be that easy? Will they be able to escape their past? Will they be able to take the risk they know they should?

‘A modern day
Brief Encounter
Daily Express


In April, 1946, Michael returns on a troopship from the war. In shock, he is caught in a moment at a station, and on impulse, takes the train heading west to Cornwall. In doing so he changes his destiny.

May, 2012, and Kit, a charming stranger, arrives in a coastal Norfolk village to take up his inheritance – a de-commissioned lighthouse, half hidden in the shadows of the past, but now sweeping it's beam forward through time. Married Luisa falters in the flow of her life – suspended, invisible – as her children begin to fly the nest. When Kit and Luisa meet, neither can escape the consequences of the split-second decision made by Michael all those years ago.

‘I love Raffaella Barker's books – so funny and acerbic' Maggie O'Farrell

First published in Great Britain in 2006 by Headline Review

This electronic edition published in 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Copyright © 2006 Raffaella Barker

The moral right of the author has been asserted

All rights reserved
You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means (including without limitation electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
50 Bedford Square

Bloomsbury Publishing, London, New Delhi, New York and Sydney

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

eISBN: 978 1 4088 5070 1

to find out more about our authors and their books
You will find extracts, author interviews, author events and you can
sign up for newsletters
to be the first to hear about our latest releases and special offer

BOOK: A Perfect Life
3.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Puppets by Daniel Hecht
Recessional: A Novel by James A. Michener
Minotaur by Phillip W. Simpson
Wolf Block by Stuart J. Whitmore
Mr. Darcy's Promise by Jeanna Ellsworth
Sidetracked by Deb Loughead