The engrossing, heartwarming story of what happens when people at the end of their tether contact the Samaritans ... In this deeply felt, absorbingly told novel, Monica Dickens not only vividly portrays three would-be suicides-but also the Samaritans themselves- Paul the ex-schoolmaster whose career has been ruined by an alcoholic wife, Victoria, half-engaged to a peer's c...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published October 28th 2011 by Bloomsbury Reader
(first published August 4th 1972)
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May 22, 2010 Surreysmum rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
[These notes were made in 1984:]. I took more delight in this than I would have normally simply because I was reading it when I should have been getting on with something else. But on re-reading it, I still appreciated its virtues - a definite knack for creating characters and realistic dialogue - while I realized its flaws - its somewhat wishful structure, and idealization of the whole institution of Samaritans: an institution which exists and functions in a world which strongly resists idealiz...more
A realistic account of what it means to man the suicide hotline (in England the Samaritans). Sometimes it means befriending the friendless,sometimes it is a puzzle trying to work out why someone is calling out for help and why the wrong response may result in them killing themselves. I don't know if good writing is in anyway genetic but Monica Dickens writes very well and she is related to Charles Dickens.
From the publisher: MONICA DICKENS, born in 1915, was brought up in London. Her mother's German origins and her Catholicism gave her the detached eye of an outsider; at St Paul's Girls' School she was under occupied and rebellious. After drama school she was a debutante before working as a cook. One Pair of Hands (1937), her first book, described life in the kitchens of Kensington. It was the firs...moreMore about Monica Dickens...