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Summary

Hidden within the confines of The Royal Institute of Prehistorical Studies, Sybil is happy enough with her work - and her love life. Then to her dismay, her old adversary, assertive and glamorous Helen Hansen, is appointed Head of Trustees. To add insult, Helen promptly seduces Sybil's boyfriend. Betrayed and broken-hearted, Sybil becomes obsessed with exposing Helen as a fraud, no matter the cost.

Offbeat and darkly funny, The Snow and the Works on the Northern Line is about things lost and found. It is also a story about love, grief and forgiveness: letting go and moving on.

©2021 Ruth Thomas (P)2021 W F Howes

Critic reviews

“So hooked on this subtle, wry, intimate novel that I listened to it from start to finish in the course of a...day.” (The Times

"I LOVED IT! All the best bits of Barbara Pym, with a little Jane Austen - on speed.” (Sarah Salway) 

“Wry, sharp and tender. A delight.” (Meaghan Delahunt)  

“Resonant and romantic, sad but never sentimental and laced through with wicked shafts of humour” (Lesley Glaister) 

“I just think it's glorious. Absolutely brilliant! So funny so sad, so uplifting and so gripping. What a cracker!” (Alan Warner)  

“Sybil is an audible presence, someone that must be taken on her own terms, in her own words. The almost zen handling of voice is a joy.” (Janice Galloway)  

“I would follow Sybil down any domestic/Beckett rabbit hole” (Reif Larsen)  

“It is Deirdra Whelan’s perfectly pitched projection of Sybil’s concussed state of mind that makes this most unusual novel compulsive listening” (The Times

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Wonderful story of heartbreak and recovery

I listened to this book and finished it in one weekend. I loved the main character Sybil and identified with the situation she found herself in. On the surface this is a light read, but the story and it’s resolution stayed with me and ultimately I found it very uplifting. It also made me laugh out loud!

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

This is an absolute gem. It’s funny, gripping, thoughtful, wise, and for the first time in my experience comparisons to Barbara Pym are actually right. (I love Barbara Pym, and there are many moments of connection with several of her novels in this book, providing an added dimension of delight.) The reader is also superb.

1 person found this helpful

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Too much minutiae, too little action

Do people really say sorry and misunderstand quite this often? How much of this book is made up of someone repeating themselves?! And so many words spent on daily, monotonous, uninteresting observations. For a brief period I thought there was going to be something really interesting like a murder investigation (of Peter) but no, the story dripped on to form a shallow puddle and The End.