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A BITTER HEART begins with tea and sympathy in the aftermath of tragedy. As with the author's BETWEEN BOY AND MAN, readers find themselves falling through a cracked social veneer into the characters' turbulent inner lives. Students Rob and Kate, and her mother, find love and trust replaced by guilt and resentment. The moral predicaments that follow are set principally in a superbly realised Manchester. Tension builds as we read to discover what fateful - and fatal- decisions are made. Assumed values are tested to breaking point. Who will most suffer the pain of moral isolation? A BITTER HEART is a story of great drive and serious interest, an engrossing and page turning read that leaves one afterwards still reflecting on its rich pattern of meaning.

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