In 1938, after an unhappy childhood, Paul’s son Bobby Harris runs away to London. In Soho he’s picked up by Jason Hargreaves, a society photographer, and becomes his model. In Jason's studio Bobby meets Nina Tate. Bobby and Nina pose for erotic photographs and soon become lovers.
Jason pays for Bobby to learn to fly and at the outbreak of the Second World War, he joins the RAF and becomes a fighter pilot. Nina marries a Canadian pilot who is killed in 1940, just before the birth of their child, Joan. Bobby steps in to take care of Nina and Joan but in 1944 Joan dies and Bobby is shot down, suffering terrible burns to his hands and face. No longer the beautiful young man of Jason’s photographs, in 1946 Bobby returns to hide himself away in the house he’s inherited from his grandfather in Thorp, his relationship with Nina destroyed by grief and Nina’s reactions to his disfigurement. In Thorp, Bobby meets Jane, an unhappily married schoolteacher. Trying to get over Nina, slowly, Bobby falls in love with this gentle, older woman, believing that she is the only person who sees beyond his injuries.
In London, Nina meets Mick Morgan, now a very famous poet and playwright. She also meets Hugh, Mick’s son, and Nina and Hugh begin a passionate love affair. However, Hugh and Bobby were childhood friends whose friendship ended bitterly. Through Nina, Hugh and Bobby become rivals, a rivalry that is complicated by Mick and the mysterious figure that returns to England from Morocco to confront Bobby with the truth about his past.
Paper Moon is a passionate love story that also explores how the sins of the fathers can have far-reaching effects on the sons.
Winner of The Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award
The passionate love affair between Spitfire pilot Bobby Harris and photographer’s model Nina Tate lasts through the turmoil of World War Two, only to be tested when Bobby is disfigured after being shot down. Wanting to hide from the world, Bobby retreats from Bohemian Soho to the empty house his grandfather has left him, a house haunted by the secrets of Bobby’s childhood. Here the mysteries of his past are gradually unravelled and he discovers that love is not only skin deep.
Following on from The Boy I Love, Marion Husband’s highly acclaimed debut novel, Paper Moon explores the complexities of love and loyalty against a backdrop of a world transformed by war.
'A real page-turner'
Its evocation of quiet lives, intensely lived, is impressive
“the writing is intelligent, and the emotions heartfelt”.
Marion Husband is a compassionate and compelling writer exploring the complexities of human nature with great empathy. Her debut novel The Boy I Love, the first in the three part The Boy I Love Trilogy, won the Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award and The Blackwell Prize. Her other novels include The Good Father and Say You Love Me. She is married with two grown-up children and teaches creative writing.
26th September 2012 10:53AM
This book was SUCH a pleasant surprise for me. I originally bought it after reading 'The Boy I Love' and finding out that I would hear more about the characters in the previous book in this one. What I didn't expect was to fall so in love with the characters here too!
Although I read this after the first book this can easily be read as a stand alone read. But for optimum enjoyment I would recommend that you read 'The Boy I Love' first. If you do that you find that you the reader know more about Bobby's life than he does.
I can honestly say that Marion once again drew me into this world, her characters were three dimensional, none more so than Bobby himself. He was such a wonderful character I challenge anyone not to love him. The realism in these books make the endings impossible to predict too, which is always a bonus. I can't recommend this more highly.