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Top 40 Book Club : 2012
26 ThE hAnD ThAT fIRST hELD mInE MAGGIe o’FARRell Winner of the Costa 2010 novel prize, Maggie O’Farrell’s latest novel The Hand that First Held Mine is written as two parallel stories of passion, motherhood, relationships and decisions. Set in different times, the connection between the stories is not initially evident but intriguing nonetheless. The novel commences with the story of Lexie Sinclair, a young country girl in the 1950s, who dreams of a faster life. Falling in love with an older and exciting man, she leaves all she knows behind to pursue a different life and a career reporting on art and artists. In a more contemporary setting, Elina is an artist who awakes after a very difficult birth to find that much of her memory of the birth is missing. As both tales unfold, the connection between the two women is revealed. Written with the skill that readers have come to expect from Maggie O’Farrell, this fascinating book has all the elements to inspire an excellent book club discussion.