In a red brick mansion block off the Marylebone Road, Vivien, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from both past and present by her timid refugee parents. Then one morning a glamorous uncle appears, dressed in a mohair suit, with a diamond watch on his wrist and a girl in a leopard-skin hat on his arm. Why is Uncle Sándor so violently unwelcome in her parents' home?
This is a novel about survival - both banal and heroic - and a young woman who discovers the complications, even betrayals, that inevitably accompany the fierce desire to live.
Set against the backdrop of a London from the 1950s to the present day, The Clothes on Their Backs is a wise and tender novel about the clothes we choose to wear, the personalities we dress ourselves in, and about how they define us all.
** 'If you read only one novel this year, make sure it is The Clothes on Their Backs ( SUNDAY EXPRESS)
** 'A beautifully written and truly moving book about the experience of growing up in Britain as a second generation immigrant ( EXPRESS)
** 'It's a sublimely atmospheric and moving novel ( LONDON PAPER)
** 'This is a vivid, enjoyable and consistently unexpected novel ( THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)
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