The Unfortunates

Laurie Graham

The eagerly awaited new novel from the bestselling author of THE FUTURE HOMEMAKERS OF AMERICA.

What hope is there for Poppy Minkel? With her kinky hair, out-sticking ears, too yellow neck and appetite for fun, her mother Dora despairs of ever finding her a husband, despite the Minkel’s Mustard fortune that seasons Poppy’s dubious attractions. Correctness, duty and Dora Minkel Ear Correcting Bandages are the weapons in the Great Husband Hunt – and a torture to a girl who has her own hazy ideas about beauty, love and marriage. When world events intervene, Poppy’s tendency to the unusual is quietly allowed to flourish. Her mother, meanwhile, finds comfort in a bottle of Tilden’s Extract and the commanding ways of Aunt Fish. World War I opens new horizons for Poppy. With never a moment of self-doubt, she invents her own extraordinary life in step with the unfolding century.

Narrated by a heroine as original and enchanting as Sally Bowles, THE UNFORTUNATES is an hilarious, sweeping celebration of passion’s triumph over prudence.

Reviews of The Unfortunates

    • Praise for THE UNFORTUNATES’Laurie Graham is a writer with a remarkably malleable comic voice.’ Alex Clark, The Guardian
    • ‘A combination of stealthy nostalgia and tender comedy…she writes with pathos – a quality that is rarely taken seriously nowadays, perhaps because it usually relies on a quality of innocence for its effect. Here, her prose rhythms bring sadness to the surface’ Sophie Ratcliffe, TLS
    • ‘it’s the insight it offers into changing personal attitudes and family life during this turbulent period that makes it such a fascinating read. The central character is delightful and the characters she encounters are both accurate and colourful. Well worth a read’ Irish News
    • ‘Fresh, funny and smart’ Observer
    • ‘Graham’s style is riveting, hilarious one-liners fallling in quick succession. If you see people creasing up with laughter on public transport this summer, this is probably what they are reading.’ Anthea Lawson, The Times
    • ‘A sparkling pleasure’ Peter Atkins, New Scientist