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 The Relative Harmony of Julie O'Hagan
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The Relative Harmony of Julie O'Hagan

By Annette Sills
ISBN 1781331227
Category Family and Relationships
Spring 2015 (1st March - 14th May


Julie O’Hagan is worried. It’s time for daughter Bridget to start school. The ordinary suburb where Julie was raised is not that ordinary any more. The Broccoli Brigade has moved in, education and media vegetarian types in beanie hats with hummus guzzling kids who are taking up all the places at Broadoak, the best primary.
Husband Billy is loving, clever but prone to depression and mood swings. He is adamant Bridget will not go to St. Joseph’s, the local Catholic school, and Julie is equally determined she will not end up in Priory Road, her old primary.
The hunt for a school for Bridget triggers memories of schooldays for both Billy and Julie.

Author's Biography

Annette Sills was born in Wigan, Lancashire. Her short stories have been longlisted and shortlisted in a number of competitions including the Fish Short Story Prize and the Telegraph Short Story Club. Her first novel, The Relative Harmony of Julie O’Hagan was shortlisted for the Rethink Press New Novels Award 2014. Annette currently lives in Manchester with her husband and two children.


The serious issues which affect every family are told with exceptional craftsmanship – and it made me laugh too. Perfect.
Eamonn O’Neal – The Manchester Evening News

An excellently observed and totally modern portrayal of family concerns which range from the mundane to the truly terrible. A highly impressive début novel.”
Madeline Heneghan - Writing on the Wall Literary Festival, Liverpool.

Price £9.99

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Reader Comments

An absorbing read with down to earth and likeable characters. Brilliant humour too! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Highly recommend it. Can't wait for Annette Sills' next novel!
Well written - creates urban setting and portrays metropolitan class with sharp humour and insight through strong central characters on the outside looking in.
A truly heart-warming read. It was deeply moving in parts and had me in tears.... when I wasn't falling about laughing! Highly recommended. More please Annette Sills!
Great read, really enjoyed this book.
Loved this book. Kept my interest throughout and was unexpected. Hope to see more from this author.
Gripping and funny with wonderful characters.
Very entertaining book, would highly recommend!
Recommended to me by a friend, this is not the type of novel I would normally read and I therefore had low expectations. How wrong I was! Hooked from the first few pages, I found it difficult to put down. A highly entertaining story of the lives of a couple living in Chorlton, Manchester with their children. The chapters alternate between the perspectives of Julie O'Hagan and her husband Billy, an unusual technique that the author has certainly mastered! I look forward to the next novel from Annette.
This book captures every emotion and once you start to read it you can't put it down. Brilliant. 5*
So many people across the country will relate to this book. A must read if you have any connections with Chorlton especially!
Beautifully and deceptively simple, unfolding tale
A lively and fun look at life in a bohemian suburb of Manchester. Nicely written with genuine characters ;-)
A thoroughly good read, and an addictive page turner which I would strongly recommend to other people to read
A funny book that has warmth and realism, whilst still being firmly tongue-in-cheek. Very much of its time and place, many people will relate to its mid-life crisis characters and the challenges they face.
Great book
Great book by a great author
Loved how so many different threads and themes were woven together to create such an entertaining and thought provoking read.
Very entertaining book, would highly recommend!
Fine writing: controlled, engaging and entertaining. I loved it from the first page.
Made me laugh out loud but also broke my heart in places. Loved it
A fantastic book. Annette Sills would be a very worthy winner of this award
loved this book and have recommended it to many friends who also have irish roots
Funny, true to life story.
A story that pulls you in, wonderfully written. Very enjoyable read.
Loved this book, great page turner, very witty!
This book is well observed, it's funny and very moving. The novel develops becoming somewhat darker than I'd ever have imagined. The author is strong on character. It is set in Manchester and Ireland and as such can be seen as a novel of the Irish Diaspora. I would recommend (and have) this book to friends. I was reminded at times when reading the novel of Maggie O'Farrell. An excellent first novel.
It's a brilliant first novel by a talented writer. Involving, funny and thought provoking in equal measure
A wonderful pacy story that made me laugh and cry
Terrific read. Modern view on family life and issues. Told with depth and heart.
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