War Paint

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Macmillan, May 15, 1994 - Fiction - 240 pages
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It is 1942, and the sleepy English village of Padmore has been hit with a bomb in the shape of the new schoolteacher, Kay Roper. Forthright, eccentric, her face made up in "glorious Technicolour," Miss Roper has the villagers in thrall. Her girls worship the ground she walks on, the women hang on her every word, and the men languish in the trail of her Parisian perfume. But questions surround her: Why does a well-bred woman have an ointment for crabs at the ready when a colleague runs screaming from the school toilets? How can she breed sexual revolution yet never be seen to practice it? Why does she rail against "the gangrene of fascism" yet fraternize with the Italians in the local POW camp? These paradoxes, so tantalizing and liberating for the inhabitants of Padmore, unravel years later to reveal that Kay Roper had more secrets than anyone dreamed. Selected as one of the Books of the Year by London's Daily Telegraph, War Paint is a compelling, compassionate, and refreshingly witty novel centered around one of the most unforgettable characters to emerge in recent fiction.


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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

In Wakefield's (Lot's Life, not reviewed) novel, which manages the feat of being both sweet and wily, three narrators reminisce about Kay Roper, a schoolteacher who arrived in the quiet British ... Read full review

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