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The Pools

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction

The Pools

Bethan Roberts

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781847651488 (3 Sep 2010)

About the book

Middle England, mid-1980s. The kind of place where nothing ever happens. Except something has happened. A fifteen year old boy called Robert has been killed, down by the pools. And half a dozen lives will come unravelled.

There's Kathryn and Howard, Rob's parents. Kath has been making the best of her second marriage after the love of her life died young. Howard has been clinging onto a family life he hardly expected to have. There's Joanna, the teen queen of nowheresville. She's been looking for a way out, escape from her parents' broken marriage. She thought Rob might take her away from all this, but lately she?s started to think Rob might have other plans. And then there's Shane, with the big hands and the fixation on Joanna.

Bethan Roberts' strikingly assured debut novel subtly reveals the tensions and terrors that underpin apparently ordinary lives, and can lead them to spiral suddenly out of control.

About the author

Bethan Roberts was born in Abingdon. Her first novelThe Pools was published in 2007 and won a Jerwood/Arvon Young Writers' Award. Her second, The Good Plain Cook, published in 2008, was serialized on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and was chosen as one of Time Out's books of the year. Two further novels,My Policeman and Mother Island, followed. Bethan has worked in television documentary, and has taught Creative Writing at Chichester University and Goldsmiths College, London. She lives in Brighton with her family.


Haunting, menacing... the vivid portrayals of adolescent sexuality paint a tense and evocative story

- Ben Myers, Shortlist

Roberts does a fine job of evoking the arrival of partially unwelcome adulthood and a vague sense of menace

- Observer

An assured and macabre debut

- Elizabeth Lowry, Guardian

Additional Information

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction

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