Troubador Avoidance

Released: 28/05/2021

ISBN: 9781800462878

eISBN: 9781800469754

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Avoidance

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The head of a large and prosperous family walks for no apparent reason into the path of an advancing express train; a disgraced Royal Navy officer and his heiress wife fail to make their fortune in 1870s South Carolina; a young girl, abused by her stepfather, grows up looking for love and someone she can trust; a modern young vicar with a relish for progress marries into a family still clinging to their Victorian certainties; Charlie Chaplin roams the mean streets of south London, while in Oxford William Morris destroys the life of an innocent young bluestocking; young soldiers go to war and are never seen again. 


This is an engrossing tale of a family that insists on correct behaviour and the avoidance of unpleasantness, even if the truth of their lives is often somewhat different. The story takes us from the height of Victorian power and confidence, through the social and technological upheavals of the early twentieth century, and into the First World War. At the heart of the story are three women: sisters Nell and Mary Harriette, one living life to the full and the other wishing she could, and Nell’s daughter Frances, who exchanges the unpredictability of life with her mother for the only too predictable world of her aunt back in England. The novel follows them and the people they love as each one navigates the narrow path between family expectation and private happiness.

At the heart of the story are three women: sisters Nell and Mary Harriette, one living life to the full and the other wishing she could, and Nell’s daughter Frances, who exchanges the unpredictability of life with her mother for the only too predictable world of her aunt back in England. The novel follows them and the people they love as each one navigates the narrow path between family expectation and private happiness. Through amazingly fluid writing and a great story line, you get engulfed in the storytelling until the end! A steady pace, nothing slow and nothing rushed. Perfect! I lost my whole day reading – just couldn't bear to put it down!

by NetGalley review


There was a time when almost everyone read novels as good as this - from authors such as E.M. Forster, John Galsworthy and H.E. Bates - now sadly with the passing of those authors and an absence of any newcomers of a similar ilk there has been a period of literary famine. Now at last Chris Davies has written a novel that evokes and rekindles the talents of Forster, Galsworthy and Bates in his own inimitable style.
Drawing on family archives and many factual sources the author writes of the end of innocence, the late Victorians and Edwardians, and the loss of a whole generation in the Great War. This is a profoundly moving novel full of characters and situations I will never forget.

Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/222398/review/651022

by NetGalley review


A beautifully written story interweaving a family’s experience of love and loss with the pressures to conform. It gives a tremendous sense of time and place, whether it is 1870s South Carolina or 1910s Oxford. I felt swept along with all the individual stories of the characters and was totally engrossed.

by M Doyle


Chris Davies

Chris Davies has worked all his life as a teacher, first in comprehensive schools and then at Oxford University. He has written books about literacy, advertising and the impact of the internet on young people. He divides his time now between Oxford and Manchester, and continues to write fiction.


Chris Davies
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