An Unchoreographed Life

By Jane Davis

General fiction, Literary fiction | Paperback, eBook


At six years old, Belinda Brabbage has amassed a wealth of wisdom and secret worries. She knows all the best hiding places in her Worlds End flat, how to zap monsters with her pig-shaped torch and that strangers will tempt you into their cars with offers of Fizzy Fish. Even so, it’s impossible to know how to behave when you don’t really understand who you are. Mummy doesn’t like to be plagued with questions about her family but, when she isn’t concentrating, she lets small nuggets slip, and Belinda collects them all, knowing they are pieces of a complicated jigsaw. Exhausted single mother Alison hasn’t been able to picture the future for some time. Struggling from day to day, the ultimatums she sets herself for turning her life around slip by. But there is one clock she cannot simply re-set. Deny it though she may, Belinda is growing up. Having stumbled across Alison’s portfolio that mapped her life as a prima ballerina, her daughter already has a clearer idea of who she once was. Soon she’ll be able to work out for herself who she is - and what she does for a living. With options running out, Alison travels to London’s suburbs to consult a blind clairvoyant, who transports her to a past she feels exiled from. However unlikely they sound, his visions of pelicans and bookshelves appear to herald change. A chance meeting with an affluent couple affords a glimpse of the life Alison desperately wants for her daughter. But can their offer of friendship be trusted? More 'What Maisie Knew’ than 'Belle de Jour’, Davis’s unflinching new novel of a mother who turns to prostitution is populated with a deeply flawed and inimitably human cast, whose tumultuous lives are shored up by carefully-guarded secrets.


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At six years old, Belinda Brabbage has amassed a wealth of wisdom and secret worries. She knows all the best hiding places in her Worlds End flat, how to zap monsters with her pig-shaped torch and that strangers will tempt you into their cars with offers of Fizzy Fish. Even so, it’s impossible to know how to behave when you don’t really understand who you are. Mummy doesn’t like to be plagued with questions about her family but, when she isn’t concentrating, she lets small nuggets slip, and Belinda collects them all, knowing they are pieces of a complicated jigsaw. Exhausted single mother Alison hasn’t been able to picture the future for some time. Struggling from day to day, the ultimatums she sets herself for turning her life around slip by. But there is one clock she cannot simply re...


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Jane Davis is the author of six novels. Her debut, Half-truths and White Lies, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and was described by Joanne Harris as 'A story of secrets, lies, grief and, ultimately, redemption, charmingly handled by this very promising new writer.' The Bookseller featured her in their 'One to Watch' section. Five further novels have earned her a loyal fan base and wide-spread praise. Regularly compared to more seasoned authors such as Kate Atkinson and Maggie O'Farrell, Compulsion Reads describe Jane as 'a phenomenal writer whose ability to create well-rounded characters that are easy to relate to feels effortless.' Her favourite description of fiction is 'made-up truth'. Jane lives in Carshalton, Surrey, with her Formula 1 obsessed, beer-brewing partner, surrounded by growing piles of paperbacks, CDs and general chaos. When she is not writing, you may spot Jane disappearing up the side of a mountain with a camera in hand.


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Jane Davis is the author of six novels. Her debut, Half-truths and White Lies, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and was described by Joanne Harris as 'A story of secrets, lies, grief and, ultimately, redemption, charmingly handled by this very promising new writer.' The Bookseller featured her in their 'One to Watch' section. Five further novels have earned her a loyal fan base and wide-spread...


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Latest news

New Thought Provoking Fiction from an Award Winning Author

9 June

‘An extraordinary level of emotion brought on by some superb storytelling.’ ~ The Cult Den ‘As I approached the end, I was enjoying the story so much I couldn’t decide what I wanted most: to quickly find out what happened to the characters or for the book not to finish at all. In the end, the author left me with hope––hope for a decent future in such a chaotic life that any of us could fall into, given the right circumstances.’ ~ Liza Perratt, Author ‘I think this is her best work to date and recommend you start on this one.’ ~ Peter Snell, Bookseller ‘What I love about Jane Davis’s writing is the way it effortlessly flows from one line to the next. She really knows how to make her prose sing. It’s practically poetry.’ ~ Jessica Bell, Author, Cover Designer, Artist, Musician ‘The whole novel had a compelling honesty; I never doubted that things happened exactly as described, right to the very last word. I have discovered a new favourite author.’ ~ Jean Gill, Author and Photographer ‘Davis also has an incredible knack for making everything count. Each moment in every chapter had meaning, was meant to be there, and was strong even if I didn't know it at the time.’ Aimee McCracken ‘Davis is a writer at the pinnacle of her craft. If I were an agent, a publisher or a professional reviewer, I’d probably say that she penetrates to the heart of the human condition. As I’m not, I’ll just say this is a damn good read and, dare I add, important.’ ~ Linda Carol ‘Beautifully written, engaging & heart-breaking. I loved every minute of it.’ ~ S M Spencer ‘The child's character was so cleverly written that I felt I knew her.’ ~ Amazon Reviewer ‘Best book by a country mile I have read for a long time.’ ~ Sue Darnell, Reader


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‘An extraordinary level of emotion brought on by some superb storytelling.’ ~ The Cult Den ‘As I approached the end, I was enjoying the story so much I couldn’t decide what I wanted most: to quickly find out what happened to the characters or for the book not to finish at all. In the end, the author left me with hope––hope for a decent future in such a chaotic life that any of us could fall into, given the right circumstances.’ ~ Liza Perratt, Author ‘I think this is her best work to date and recommend you start on this one.’ ~ Peter Snell, Bookseller ‘What I love about Jane Davis’s writing is the way it effortlessly flows from one line to the next. She really knows how to make her prose sing. It’s practically poetry.’ ~ Jessica Bell, Author, Cover Designer, Artist, Musician ‘T...


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