The Dark Circle: Chapter One

‘Great relationships, fabulous colourful characters and a gripping story.’ – 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction judge Katie Derham

Over the coming weeks leading up to the announcement of the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner, we’ll be spotlighting each of this year’s shortlisted books. This week, why not dive into Linda Grant’s incredible The Dark Circle? It’s an incredible tale of tuberculosis sanatoriums, post WW2 life in London’s East End and the birth of the NHS.

CHAPTER ONE

London. Big black old place, falling down, hardly any colour apart from a woman’s red hat going into the chemist with her string bag, and if you looked carefully, bottle-green leather shoes on that girl, but mostly grey and beige and black and mud-coloured people with dirty hair and unwashed shirt collars, because everything is short, soap is short, joy is short, sex is short, and no one on the street is laughing so jokes must be short too. Four years after the war and still everything is up shit creek.

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