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The Birds On The Trees

The Birds On The Trees

The expulsion from school of their eldest son shatters the middle-class security of Maggie, a writer, and Charlie, a journalist. Since childhood, Toby has been diffident and self-absorbed, but the threat of drug taking and his refusal (or inability) to discuss his evident unhappiness, disturbs them sufficiently to seek professional help. Veering between private agony and public cheerfulness, Maggie and Charlie struggle to support their son and cope with the reactions - and advice - of friends and relatives. Noted for the acuity with which she reaches into the heart of relationships, Nina Bawden here excels in revealing the painful, intimate truths of a family in crisis. Toby’s situation is explored with great tenderness, while Maggie’s grief and self-recrimination are rigorously, if compassionately, observed. It is a novel that raises fundamental questions about parents and their children, and offers tentative hope but no tidy solutions.

About the Author

Nina Bawden

Nina Bawden was born in London in 1925. She was the author of over 40 novels; 23 for adults and 19 for children. Several of her novels for children have become contemporary classics, notably Carrie’s War and The Peppermint Pig.  Her adult work includes the Booker shortlisted Circles of Deceit and Family Money. She died at her home in London on 22 August 2012.