The Lessons, a new novel by John Purcell

31 March 2022
The Lessons, by John Purcell, book cover

The Lessons, published by 4th Estate/HarperCollins Publishers, is the latest novel by Kent, England, based Australian author John Purcell, and follows on from his earlier books, The Girl On The Page, and The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy.

The first few sentences of the synopsis for The Lessons suggests it is partly a lost-love story:

1961: When teens Daisy and Harry meet, it feels so right they promise to love each other forever, but in 1960s England everything is stacked against them: class, education, expectations. When Daisy is sent by her parents to live with her glamorous, bohemian Aunt Jane, a novelist working on her second book, she is confronted by adult truths and suffers a loss of innocence that flings her far from the one good thing in her life, Harry.

1983: Jane Curtis, now a famous novelist, is at a prestigious book event in New York, being interviewed about her life and work, including a novel about the traumatic coming of age of a young woman. But she won’t answer the interviewer’s probing questions. What is she trying to hide?

We see that Aunt Jane has become an established author, but what has become of Daisy and Harry, the apparently star-crossed lovers? Has her fame stemmed from appropriating their story? Who knows, but there’s a hint here she knows more than she’s letting on. Maybe.

The Lessons will be on bookshelves from 13 April 2022, and Purcell will be travelling to Australia to promote the title. The book launch takes place at Readings Emporium, in Melbourne, on Thursday 28 April 2022.

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