Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize: In postwar Liverpool, a teenager joins a theater troupe to escape her working-class life—and is drawn into a darker world.
From one of Britain’s best-loved novelists, this is the story of Stella Bradshaw, an orphaned sixteen-year-old with dreams of getting out of her boardinghouse in the slums. Unwilling to resign herself to a job at Woolworth’s, she finds a place at the Liverpool Repertory Company instead.
She quickly falls head over heels for the rundown theater’s dissolute director, Meredith Potter, but he has no interest in her. And Stella is too naïve to understand why. As she tries to gain experience with other colleagues in the hope of one day seducing Meredith, the director is faced with a crisis when a cast member is injured just as the company’s production of Peter Pan is about to open. The replacement is an older man, a war hero and a prominent actor—and he’s instantly drawn to Stella. But while the romance that follows may be innocent, its implications are far from wholesome.
Named by the Times (London) as one of the “fifty greatest British writers since 1945,” author Beryl Bainbridge portrays working-class England in the aftermath of World War II with her signature dark humor and dry wit. Adapted into a 1995 film starring Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman, An Awfully Big Adventure is an atmospheric historical novel about the loss of innocence with a definitively modern—and chilling—twist.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Beryl Bainbridge including rare images from the author’s estate.