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Bad Blood, By Lorna Sage

Reviewed by Boyd Tonkin

Published 08/10/2010

A decade after its first publication, the late Lorna Sage's masterpiece of an autobiography returns in a welcome new edition.

Bad Blood is a work of art that, phrase by spiky, gorgeous, perfectly-chosen phrase, triumphs as family psychodrama and social history too.

Raised in the shadow of her disgraceful vicar grandpa, exiled to a remote parish in the Welsh marches, young Lorna grows up strange and solitary both in just-postwar Britain and in a weird enclave of the 19th century.

Life in a council house ("a square hole in the old social map") only brings fresh bewilderments. They culminate (aged 16) in pregnancy and rapid marriage.

Yet Lorna and Vic flourish, study, grow. A mood of ancestral doom yields to hope and opportunity at last.

Belfast Telegraph

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