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Helen Simonson

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Helen Simonson was born in Slough, grew up near Reading, and spent her teenage years in a small village in East Sussex, near Rye. A graduate of the London School of Economics, with a masters degree(MFA) in creative writing from Stony Brook Southampton(USA), she is a former advertising executive who now lives in the Washington, D.C. area. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, her first novel, was written while she was a stay-at-home mother. Its unexpected success (Major Pettigrew has become an instant bestseller in multiple countries), has in no way reduced the amount of laundry, or the demands for food, money and car transport, from her two teenagers! The book is dedicated to them, and to her husband, John.

Genres: Historical
Helen Simonson recommends
The Weird Sisters (2011)
Eleanor Brown
"What a joy to read. What a VOICE. The Weird Sisters is family drama dissected by verbal scalpel. If wit and language could protect against growing old, these bewitching sisters might never have to grow up."
Middle, Lost, and Found (2013)
Jamie Ford
"One of our most unique and compelling storytellers."
The News from the End of the World (2017)
Emily Jeanne Miller
"A beautifully crafted, emotional portrait of a Cape Cod family whose teenage daughter may not be the only one out of options. The austere beauty of the off-season landscape seems to bring out hard truths and scour away secrets. I loved it."
Edgar and Lucy (2017)
Victor Lodato
"This tale gradually exerts a fiendish grip on the reader."
The Women in the Castle (2017)
Jessica Shattuck
"Fans of The Nightingale and other classic World War II stories will fall in love with this compelling new perspective on women at war."
I Was Anastasia (2018)
Ariel Lawhon
"A young Tsarina traveling towards tragedy and an aging Grand Duchess penniless and betrayed. Twin stories so gripping you will believe history itself can be rewritten. Told with masterful intensity and moments of true human compassion."
The High Season (2018)
Judy Blundell
"Blundell wields words like an oyster knife in this shimmering story of art, money, and celebrity. The High Season is wicked summer fun."
The Verdun Affair (2018)
Nick Dybek
"I am still haunted by the images of war so deftly conjured in the midst of an elegiac love story. Dybek writes with a commanding sense of story and language. This novel will not let you go."
The Age of Light (2019)
Whitney Scharer
"An extraordinary young woman discovers love and art and betrayal among the artists of 1930s Paris and documents the horrors of war through her singular camera lens. An uplifting, heartbreaking and altogether immersive read."
Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss (2019)
Rajeev Balasubramanyam
"Searingly funny, uplifting and wonderful."
Montauk (2019)
Nicola Harrison
"Slip this engaging love affair into your beach bag and prepare to get lost in this glittering tale of love, betrayal and social climbing in a newly fashionable 1930s seaside village."
Dear Edward (2020)
Ann Napolitano
"This is a stunning novel of courage and connection in the face of unimaginable loss. It’s beautifully written, with characters so intensely alive you will hold your breath as they break your heart—an extraordinary read."
The Other Bennet Sister (2020)
Janice Hadlow
"Jane fans rejoice! I loved this thoroughly estimable, worthy homage to Austen. Exceptional storytelling and a true delight."
Beheld (2020)
TaraShea Nesbit
"In a gripping retelling of the Plymouth colony’s first murder, we finally hear the voices of women--and they speak an unvarnished truth that turns history on its pointy-hatted head. Truly a riveting read."
The Big Finish (2020)
Brooke Fossey
"A funny, witty caper filled with charm and unexpected friendship."
Miss Benson's Beetle (2020)
Rachel Joyce
"A beautifully written, extraordinary quest in which two ordinary, overlooked women embark on an unlikely scientific expedition to the South Seas. A classic tale of gripping adventure and friendship, told from the subversive and often hilarious female view."
Think of Me (2022)
Frances Liardet
"[A] heartbreaking and beautifully captured story of love, friendship, and sacrifice."
Rock of Ages (2022)
(Junior Bender, book 8)
Timothy Hallinan
"Could not stop laughting, Timothy Hallinan is sharpe as a blade, has a wicked eye for human nature and keeps the reader guessing and reading for Junior Bender all the way."

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