Helen Cross

Spilt Milk, Black Coffee

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Handsome Amir, somewhere in his twenties, somewhere in a Yorkshire town, is torn between duty and lust. While his tradition-bound family urges him to choose a wife from a parade of blank and bashful beauties, he remains a slave to boozy blonde goddess Jackie, his fellow-worker at the department store in town. Pushing forty, with bubblegum hair and a filthy laugh, Jackie is an unlikely muse. She is openly entertained by Amir's teetotalism and moral sincerity, but behind her whip-smart wit is a forgiving and optimistic heart. And, he sighs, she has a smile that lingers in the air like smoke. Meanwhile, at home, Amir must dodge his family's plans for him to join the family newsagency business, 'Fags n Fings', and tenderly care for his beloved, but increasingly demented, mother.Sensitive, sassy, exasperated, twelve-year-old Elle lurks in a black hoody and crops her hair to look as unlike her flamboyant mother as possible. She avoids the spiteful girls at her Catholic school, and leads a double life: raucous ballads of the seventies with wine-soaked Jackie; organic raisins and stately homes with perfect Claire, her father's faultless new wife. In a northern town rife with racial tension and tabloid outrage, Spilt Milk, Black Coffee is an hilarious, beguiling and unlikely love story. A romantic comedy of twenty-first century multi-cultural Britain, this is an irresistible novel from the prizewinning author of My Summer of Love.
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290 printed pages

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