Five Easy Pieces by Madeline Hall

Five Easy Pieces

byMadeline Hall

Kobo ebook | February 27, 2014

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Five Easy Pieces is the collected edition of stories of sisters taken out of Essex to grow up on a farm in Alsace-Lorraine.  They are smart, sharp, funny, playful and occasionally cheeky.  So are the sisters. 

Each story stands alone but they draw on the tangle of relationships between siblings.  Each sister struggles to find her feet and her voice.

Some French is sprinkled throughout.  The Rivett family is becoming bilingual.  Whilst English remains the mother tongue, and the principal language of this collection, the French conversation adds seasoning.  Sometimes it’s only the French who have le mot juste.

Georgina, six feet tall and saddled with a name too often shortened, is the only goth in the village in rural France.  Her moody and magnificent armour is pierced by amour: she falls forever in love with twin Percheron colts when she watches their birth.

Later, showing her two black beauties, she is awakened by budding love for a more species appropriate male.  One enchanted evening lifts her spirits to the night sky but hers is a falling star.


Victoria rejoices in the French pronunciation of her name: Victoire for victory.  She is a signed up member of the Angry Bikers and a proud motocyclette on her motobécane, complete with winged victory badges.

She delights in long rides through the Moselle valley near home and the Vosges mountains further afield, glorying in the voluptuous curves of the foothills.  A brush with a biker she unwittingly rouses to anger, spotlights hidden depths to her love of that landscape.


Jacqueline has the look of a film star from the forties, a mind like a steel trap and a gift for music.  After a successful French secondary education, she’s out of place and time at a central London school of music: a legal alien, a French speaking English girl, at a loss for street smart language. 

She falls in with a self-styled guide and mentor but soon falls out with him.  His unsettling ghost haunts her round the echoing fastness of London’s Barbican until a final theatrical dénouement.


Persephone is an original smurfette: a young woman in a man’s world, Belgian and more than a little blue.  At seventeen, she is fluent in five languages but can’t turn down a deal in any one of them.  Pondering the case for being an accessory to crime she thinks first of handbags.

She proves herself a shrewd operator in the soft underbelly of shady financial fixes.  Her credentials in living up to her outlandish name, queen of the underworld, are founded here in the Brussels of the nineties.


Rosie’s daintiness and demure demeanour mask a murky mind.  Her inner voice is profane –studded with the tics of internal Tourette’s.  One hot summer she sets herself up as a detective.  She learns more about herself than others, discovering that, in her own words, she’s a bit of a dick.

Rosie’s story, the finale in a collection of five, also serves as a postscript to those of her older, and bigger, sisters.


Title:Five Easy PiecesFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:February 27, 2014Publisher:Madeline hallLanguage:English

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