A Corner of Paradise: A love story (with the usual reservations) by Brian Thompson
In 1973, Brian Thompson kissed the impossibly glamorous Elizabeth North for the first time, in a busy supermarket car park along the Leeds ring road. This is the story of the unexpectedly joyous consequences - ones to baffle many, not least themselves - until her death, aged 78.
Both were writers, though very different in ambition and achievement. They came from opposite ends of the social register - she an Admiral's daughter, he the descendant of unruly Cockney eccentrics. She was by nature a solitary (though one with four children). He was loud, incurably facetious - and needy.
'It's you and me, girl. It's only ever about you and me,' he once told her much too fervently.
'Yes,' she replied with her biting honesty. 'Yes - with the usual reservations.'
From a tiny Harrogate terrace, to the deeply un-picturesque French farmhouse where they spent their summers, Brian and Liz battled their way to a heartrending goodbye in an Oxford hospital ward. In many ways, their partnership was 'an exercise in asymmetry' - yet, despite the conflicts, they emerge in this deeply-felt memoir as a couple who were lucky enough to find their corner of paradise in one another.