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About the Author: Charlotte Mendelson

Charlotte Mendelson (born 1972) is a British novelist and editor. Her maternal grandparents were, in her words, "Hungarian-speaking-Czech, Ruthenian for about 10 minutes, Carpathian mountain-y, impossible to describe", who left Prague in 1939.
When she was two, she moved with her parents and her baby sister to a house in a cobbled passage next to St John's College, Oxford, where her father taught public international law.

After the King's School, Canterbury,she studied Ancient and Modern History at the University of Oxford, even though she knows now, with great regret, that what would have suited her best was English literature at somewhere like Leeds.

She says she became a lesbian suddenly. "It was boyfriends up to 22 or 23. Not a whiff of lesbianism. Not even a thought. But I'm very all or nothing. It was all that, and now it's all this. There was about a 10-minute cross-over period of uncertainty, but it was really not that bad."

She has two children with the journalist and novelist Joanna Briscoe.

She won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 2003 and the Somerset Maugham Award in 2004 for her second novel Daughters of Jerusalem. She was shortlisted for the Sunday Times 'Young Writer of the Year Award in 2003.She contributes regularly to the TLS, the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday and the Observer. She is an editor at the publishers Headline Review. She was placed 60th on the Independent on Sunday Pink List 2007

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Goodreads rating: 2.91

Paperback, by Pan MacMillan

ISBN10: 1447220005 | ISBN13: 9781447220008

Home is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
In a tiny flat in West London, sixteen-year-old Marina lives with her emotionally delicate mother, Laura, and three ancient Hungarian relatives. Imprisoned by her family’s crushing expectations and their fierce unEnglish pride, by their strange traditions and stranger foods, she knows she must escape. But the place she runs to makes her feel even more of an outsider.
At Combe Abbey, a traditional English public school for which her family have sacrificed everything, she realises she has made a terrible mistake. She is the awkward half-foreign girl who doesn’t know how to fit in, flirt or even be. And as a semi-Hungarian Londoner, who is she? In the meantime, her mother Laura, an alien in this strange universe, has her own painful secrets to deal with, especially the return of the last man she’d expect back in her life. She isn’t noticing that, at Combe Abbey, things are starting to go terribly wrong.

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