Margot Livesey

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Eva Moves the Furniture

  • September 2001
  • Originally published by Henry Holt & Co. Paperback edition published by Picador.
  • Also available as an eBook from iTunes.

Summary

On the night of Eva McEwen's birth in a small Scottish town her mother dies, leaving her to grow up lonely but never quite alone. For two mysterious presences haunt her: a woman and a girl whom no one else can see. Sometimes they help and guide her, even save her from disaster, but they also frustrate her plans for life and love; and as she grows older their intentions become increasingly unclear. Do they wish to protect or harm her?... But Eva Moves the Furniture is not a ghost story in the conventional sense.

Reviews

"Every novel of Margot Livesey's is, for her readers, a joyous discovery. Her work radiates with compassion and intelligence and always, deliciously, mystery." — Alice Sebold

"A quirky and enchanting novel about the thin curtain that separates our world from the next." — Alice Hoffman

In the Author's Words

"One misty autumn morning when my adopted father, Roger, was driving me to catch a train in a small Scottish country town, he told me a story about my mother, Eva, who had died when I was two and a half. Roger taught at the boys' private school where Eva was the school nurse. At this time, the late 1940s, few people had telephones and one day Roger went to the school sanatorium to use Eva's phone. She left him alone to make the call and while he was talking a middle aged, brown haired woman wearing a raincoat came into the room, nodded to him and left by the door on the far side. When his call was finished, and Eva returned, he asked about her friend. What did she look like?, said Eva. Roger described her. Oh, her, said Eva, and what did she do? He told her and Eva told him to go and try the door. He found the door he had just seen open screwed shut.

"I listened to this story with fascination and, as I sat on the train heading south, I decided to write a novel based on my mother's life, and call it Eva Moves the Furniture. This was in 1987. Over the next thirteen years I wrote seven or eight different versions of the novel, burdening myself and many of my friends with my efforts to tell this story, always convinced I was on the verge of getting it right and later discovering I had failed. Finally, after I published The Missing World, I once more had the untrustworthy feeling that I knew what to do about Eva. I sat down to rewrite the novel, no longer in the hope of getting it published but with the ambition of finishing it for my own sake and of perhaps sending copies to half a dozen friends. The novel was finally published in September, 2001."

Other Editions

German Edition French Edition UK Paperback Edition