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Christine Harrison

The Fig and the Flute Player

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We throw away years of life. We walk in mist. Then unexpectedly something shifts, subtly, hardly at all, and everything is changed. It was like that...

When Maisie Shergold, art historian, meets Michael Curran, folk musician, on the platform of Paddington Station she falls in love with him instantly. Ignoring the differences in their backgrounds, ages, and personal outlook, she pursues the affair with a single-minded intensity that borders on obsession.

Abandoning the safe routines that had previously defined her life, and against the advice of friends and family, Maisie opens her home and her heart to this virtual stranger. But she discovers that Michael is a man of secrets, with a past that threatens to overtake them both.

Against the international backdrop of the art world and the pursuit of a rare, precious ikon, their love affair resonates across countries and cultures, and ultimately proves to be just as fragile and elusive as the ikon itself.

Fig and the Flute Player is a passionate, sensitive exploration of infatuation, in both its tenderness and its darkness. Using prose that is both lyrical and deceptively simple, Harrison paints a realistic, poignant portrait of the overwhelming nature of romantic love. 

“A moving and highly accomplished first novel with the ring of truth.” Evening Echo
“...a tender romance...” The Herald
“A poignant novel... passionate, sometimes painful... the author gradually and delicately unravels this tale about love...” Maggie Willaims, The Western Telegraph 

Christine Harrison was born on the Isle of Wight. She lives and writes on the west coast of Wales, which has been her home for many years. Her award winning short fiction has brought her national acclaim and recognition. She won the Cosmopolitan Short Story Award with ‘La Scala Inflammata’ which was then published in an anthology, The Best of Cosmopolitan Fiction, and she has been a contributor to many anthologies of women's writing from Wales including Power and All Shall be Well.

Fig and the Flute Player was previously published in 1994 by Macmillan, under the title Airy Cages. Christine Harrison gratefully acknowledges the support of Literature Wales in the writing of this novel.

Published September 2014.