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The Orchard on Fire

The Orchard on Fire

It’s 1953, and April Harlency is eight years old and new to the town of Stonebridge. Her parents run a tearoom, and April becomes friends with a girl named Ruby, whose parents run a pub. However, April is also subjected to the attentions of Mr. Greenridge, an elderly man who eventually begins molesting her; April cannot talk about this with her parents because they believe Mr. Greenridge is nothing but a kind and generous old man. Ruby, in the meantime, is being beaten by her father.

About the Author

Shena Mackay

Shena Mackay is a Scottish novelist born in Edinburgh in 1944.

Her writing career started with her winning a poetry competition in the Daily Mirror at the age of 16. After leaving school her first publication was a volume of two novellas, Dust Falls on Eugene Schlumburger and Toddler on the Run (1964).

Her books include Redhill Rococo (1986), winner of the Fawcett Society Book Prize; Dunedin (1992), winner of the Scottish Arts Council Book Award; The Orchard on Fire (1995), shortlisted for the Booker Prize; and Heligoland (2003), shortlisted for the Orange Prize for fiction and the Whitbread Novel Award, and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for fiction.

She holds a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Literature and is also Honorary Visiting Professor at Middlesex University.