A Special Relationship

by Douglas Kennedy

January 8, 2004 | Trade Paperback

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This is serious popular fiction -- a true page-turner -- about an American woman in London whose entire life is turned upside down, and London becomes a very foreign place.

This is the story of Sally Goodchild, a thirty-seven-year-old American, who, after nearly two decades as a highly independent journalist, suddenly finds herself pregnant and in London, married to an English foreign correspondent, Tony Thompson, whom she met while they were both on assignment in Cairo. From the outset, Sally's relationship with both Tony and London is an uneasy one -- especially as she finds her husband and his city to be far more foreign than she imagined. But her adjustment problems are soon overshadowed by a troubled pregnancy. When she goes into premature labour, there are doubts whether her child will survive unscathed. And then, out of nowhere, Sally is hit by an appalling post-natal depression -- a descent into a temporary, but very personal hell, which even sees her articulating a homicidal thought against her baby.

However, when she does manage to extricate herself from this desperate dark wood, she finds herself in a fresh new nightmare -- as she discovers that everything can be taken down and used against you…especially by a spouse who now considers you an unfit mother and wants to bar you from ever seeing your child again.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 416 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × in

Published: January 8, 2004

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 009179353X

ISBN - 13: 9780091793531

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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A Special Relationship

A Special Relationship

by Douglas Kennedy

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 416 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × in

Published: January 8, 2004

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 009179353X

ISBN - 13: 9780091793531

From the Publisher

This is serious popular fiction -- a true page-turner -- about an American woman in London whose entire life is turned upside down, and London becomes a very foreign place.

This is the story of Sally Goodchild, a thirty-seven-year-old American, who, after nearly two decades as a highly independent journalist, suddenly finds herself pregnant and in London, married to an English foreign correspondent, Tony Thompson, whom she met while they were both on assignment in Cairo. From the outset, Sally's relationship with both Tony and London is an uneasy one -- especially as she finds her husband and his city to be far more foreign than she imagined. But her adjustment problems are soon overshadowed by a troubled pregnancy. When she goes into premature labour, there are doubts whether her child will survive unscathed. And then, out of nowhere, Sally is hit by an appalling post-natal depression -- a descent into a temporary, but very personal hell, which even sees her articulating a homicidal thought against her baby.

However, when she does manage to extricate herself from this desperate dark wood, she finds herself in a fresh new nightmare -- as she discovers that everything can be taken down and used against you…especially by a spouse who now considers you an unfit mother and wants to bar you from ever seeing your child again.

About the Author

Douglas Kennedy's The Pursuit of Happiness was a critically acclaimed international bestseller. Born in New York City in 1955, he lives in London with his wife and children.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Pursuit of Happiness:
"Kennedy cannot help but write grippingly, and he weaves threads of love and betrayal into a thrillingly masterful ending." -- Observer

"This is the novel against which the rest of the year's output demands to be judged." -- Express on Sunday

Bookclub Guide

1. In the interview Kennedy says he doesn't find it hard to write from the female perspective. How successful do you think he is at describing Sally's emotional state?

2. It's clear from the beginning that Sally enjoys the challenges and stresses of working as a war correspondent. Do you feel that her character in any way contributes to what happens to her? Do you like her?

3. How is London characterised in the novel? Can you see this happening elsewhere, or does the British character contribute to Sally's sense of isolation? Do you feel his depictions of the subsidiary characters to be realistic?

4. At the beginning of the book Sally's world is a series of far-flung foreign hotspots, and it swiftly narrows to a house in Putney with a baby she feels nothing for. How does the structure of the novel reflect Sally's experiences?

5. Tony is depicted as an out-and-out villain. Do you feel he has any redeeming features? Does this make him a realistic character?

6. The battle between Sally and Tony culminates in a courtroom scene. What other devices does the author use to make the novel suspenseful?

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