February 3rd 2011

Lying Together by Gaynor Arnold

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A beautifully written and deeply perceptive collection

William Palmer, Independent

The best of Gaynor Arnold’s stories are tough and tender. She can be poignant and funny, too . . . [and] unabashedly delightful

Daily Mail

Sparkling with sympathy, style and wit, this debut collection is populated by characters looking for new life. The two desperately optimistic lovers of the title story head out on the road in the first days of release from a rehab clinic. A childless wife is drawn back into the orbit of her charismatic old flame when her best friend asks for her help. In a wartime cafe, a waitress takes a passionate interest in a bookish and haunted stranger.

Stretching effortlessly from Paris to inner-city Birmingham, from the present day to the 1940s, these stories explore the daily misunderstandings and self-deceits, the secrets and lies that seep into all our lives.

Gaynor Arnold brings the same empathy and social worker’s insight to Lying Together that she previously shone on the marriage of Charles Dickens in Girl in a Blue Dress. Versatile and provocative, her new collection confirms the arrival of a natural storyteller with a rich understanding of the human heart.

Praise for Girl in a Blue Dress:

Gaynor Arnold’s deep understanding of human relationships marks out this story of a strong woman in an age when women weren’t perceived as such

Erica Wagner, Times

Complex characterisation and silky prose


A fine work of imagination and compassion that offers up other ways for us to understand a popular genius and those who loved him


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