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book cover of Picking Up the Pieces

Picking Up the Pieces

(1997)
A novel by

 
 
Fiftysomething Kate Rendlesham has spent the majority of her life keeping up appearances for the sake of her family and her powerful, if philandering, husband. After his death, however, she feels herself stretching toward a new identity that has nothing to do with being the wife of the late Oliver Rendlesham. Armed with her embroidery skills and some newfound courage, Kate embarks on a new life.

Though convincing herself of her abilities is her first trial, nothing is as difficult as overcoming the skepticism of her peers and the misplaced resentment of her daughter, Joanna, and her granddaughter, Harriet. Having relied on Kate as an ever-available babysitter, Joanna sees her mother's actions as an ill-fated and selfish mid-life crisis. And while Harriet understands Kate's motivations, she aches for a nurturing intimacy that the stiff Joanna cannot provide. Struggling to defend her new independence, Kate finds inspiration in an enchanted observatory and its handsome owner, Jack Morley.

Posing as the groundskeeper, Jack invites Kate to live in the observatory in exchange for her managing its renovation. Kate discovers in Jack someone "with whom it was so easy to communicate that she felt as if they shared their thoughts before they had even put them into words." But the intensity of their feelings makes her discovery of Jack's secret past deeply painful. Grappling with her mixed emotions, Kate offers little support to Joanna as her fragile marriage Crumbles and to Harriet before she drifts into angry estrangement. As Kate, Joanna, and Harriet each face broken relationships, they must learn to pick up the pieces and create a new future.

From the navel-piercing teenager to the exotic grande dame, Mary Sheepshanks shows a keen eye for human behavior in Picking Up the Pieces. Rich description and dialogue make the rural English setting feel familiar, even for those of us who don't own cottage farms or drink afternoon tea. Readers of all ages will be able to empathize with these three women as we follow them through life transformations, and the wit and humanity of this multi-generational story will endure through multiple readings. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien

    

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Used availability for Mary Sheepshanks's Picking Up the Pieces

Hardback Editions

July 2011 : USA Library Binding
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Title: Picking Up the Pieces (Center Point Premier Romance (Large Print))
Author(s): Mary Sheepshanks
ISBN: 1-61173-097-X / 978-1-61173-097-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Center Point Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 1999 : USA Hardback
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Title: Picking Up the Pieces
Author(s): Mary Sheepshanks
ISBN: 0-312-19997-X / 978-0-312-19997-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 1997 : UK Hardback
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Title: Picking Up the Pieces
Author(s): Mary Sheepshanks
ISBN: 0-7126-7717-8 / 978-0-7126-7717-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Century
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

October 1999 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: Picking Up the Pieces
Author(s): Mary Sheepshanks
ISBN: 0-312-97037-4 / 978-0-312-97037-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 1998 : UK Paperback
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Title: Picking Up the Pieces
Author(s): Mary Sheepshanks
ISBN: 0-09-917322-0 / 978-0-09-917322-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

January 1998 : UK Audio Cassette
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Title: Picking Up the Pieces: Complete & Unabridged
Author(s): Mary Sheepshanks
ISBN: 0-7531-0311-7 / 978-0-7531-0311-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: ISIS Audio Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

September 2015 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Picking Up the Pieces
Author(s): Mary Sheepshanks
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA