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Charlie, a teenager from central London teenager, is framed at a party when drugs are planted in her backpack. Her mother, Bonnie, is a single mother and aspiring actress, whose head is in the clouds most of the time. To avoid sending her to juvenile detention, the magistrate allows her to be remanded into the custody of her maiden great-aunt, deemed to be more responsible than her mother.


This bitter old spinster, who teaches at the local school in a village not far from London, is regarded as a resentful schoolmarm, who battles to connect with the adolescents she teaches. She hates technology and has a blatant disregard for anything related to the twenty-first century. Life for Charlie becomes unbearable in her new surroundings, except for her friendship with Billy, the boy who is working next door.


But Charlie’s frustration and boredom are relieved by the arrival of a fugitive from justice in the form of Marta, a vulnerable, pregnant and emotionally abused wife, who hides in Sophie’s tool-shed and is discovered by Charlie and Billy. When, after befriending the duo, she makes another run for it, Charlie fears for Marta’s safety and her child’s wellbeing. In a major turn of events and for a number of reasons, unknown to Charlie, Sophie reluctantly agrees to accompany Charlie on a quest to find her and persuade her to do the right thing.


Finding Marta and dealing with all the subsequent fall-out are issues that Charlie and Sophie realise are better dealt with as a team and the slow but steady process to achieve this has some comical and some heart-warming moments.


What starts as an extremely difficult journey for both of them becomes in time more about the inward journey that both of them unconsciously take towards understanding each other and learning to reserve judgement. Through communication and tolerance, they learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and forgive each other’s weaknesses.

The First Stone by Cathy Donald

SKU: 9781776057795
  • Cathy Donald was born and educated in Gqeberha / Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. From an early age she loved writing stories, and later became involved in speech and drama, as well as script writing for dramatic productions and musicals. Her career path, however, led her in a different direction and she qualified as a medical doctor at the University of the Witwatersrand, subsequently working in rural hospitals as well as urban private practices. Since her children have become adults, she has again been able to indulge her passion for words and stories.
    She has written and published five novels over the past eight years; "The Reluctant Cuckoo" (2016), "Miles to Go" (2018) "The Silence of the Shadows" (2020) “Breathless” (2022) and “The First Stone” (2023)
    In 2022, her novel “The Silence of the Shadows” was awarded the Jury prize at the Milan International Literary Awards. 

    She lives in Somerset West with her husband, Roy, and has three adult children.

    All her novels celebrate family and friendship and the life-affirming values that mean so much to her. Most are set in South Africa and handle issues that are relevant both to fellow South Africans and to the world at large.

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