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From the award winning author of Vanessa and Virginia, set amidst the glamour and intrigue of the contemporary art world, Given the Choice is about growing up and growing older, about making choices and learning to live with them.
At 39 Marian has a lot going for her. She's talented, ambitious and married to a wealthy financier who adores her. She's also capable of lying when the odds seem stacked up against her, but she's a good deal more vulnerable than she lets on. Amidst the glamour and spin of the contemporary London art and classical music worlds, money rules and an artist's skill is rarely enough. Marion's top clients - a brilliant French painter and a virtuoso Estonian pianist - benefit from her entrepreneurial flair, but when her husband says it's time they had a child, this contrary heroine starts to panic and the cracks in her carefully constructed lifestyle start to show.
Will Marion become ensnared in the web of deceit she has cast round herself? Or can she learn enough to save her business and her marriage?
In this new novel by the award-winning author Susan Sellers, it is you, the reader, who is given the choice.
'The piano was no longer a music-making machine but the source of a magical power. She could hear the swooping calls of birds as they darted through treetops or skimmed and dived in a free expanse of air. The bare walls of the practice room had metamorphosed into an enchanted forest, teeming with flashes of brilliant plumage and abrupt, raucous caws.'
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After a nomadic childhood, Susan Sellers ran away to Paris. While studying for her doctorate, she worked as a barmaid, tour guide and nanny, bluffed her way as a software translator and co-wrote a film script with a Hollywood screenwriter. She became closely involved with leading French feminist writers and translated Hélène Cixous. From Paris she travelled to Swaziland, teaching English to tribal grandmothers, and to Peru, where she worked for a women's aid agency. Moving to Scotland she became a Professor of English at St Andrews University, began to write fiction, and won the Canongate Prize for New Writing in 2002. Sellers has published sixteen books, although Given the Choice is her second novel. Her previous novel, the critically acclaimed ,Vanessa and Virginia (Two Ravens Press, 2008) was translated into various languages and has been adapted for stage, performed at the Riverside Studio, London (2013). Susan now lives mostly near Cambridge with her husband, a composer, and their son.