The poignant sequel to A Song of Sixpence The clinic stood high on an Alpine slope. Lush meadows, studded with autumn crocus, sloped steeply down. Across the valley, above the pinewoods, the high peaks were already dusted with snow. Like a toy railway, the line to Davos twisted and turned up along the mountain side. Laurence Carroll breathed in the pure, clear air. A wonderful place, a not-too-demanding job as resident doctor to the convalescent children flown out from England; it was a million miles from his Scottish childhood, the struggles to qualify and the grinding, poverty-stricken years as a young GP in the Welsh mining valleys. He was relaxed. Happy. But, soon to arrive at Zurich, a woman he had once known well, now a widowed mother, was to bring with her all the turmoil and anguish of his early years, flooding back into his casually ordered life.
Born in Cardross, Scotland, AJ Cronin studied at the University of Glasgow. In 1916 he served as a surgeon sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteers Reserve, and at the war's end he completed his medical studies and practiced in South Wales. He was later appointed to the Ministry of Mines, studying the medical problems of the mining industry. He later moved to London and built up a successful practice in the West End. In 1931 he published his first book, Hatter's Castle, which was compared with the work of Dickens, Hardy and Balzac, winning him critical acclaim. Other books by AJ Cronin include: The Citadel, Three Loves, The Green Years, Beyond This Place, The Keys of the Kingdom.
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