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Discover our Life Lines Reading Packs

Written by Rachael Norris, 29th April 2021

If you’re delivering a group online or over the telephone, you might find our Life Lines reading packs a useful resource. Each Life Lines pack contains an extract of a story and an accompanying poem.

You can sign up to receive weekly Life Lines issues by emailing . As a taster we’ve included five issues from the archive for you to download and enjoy.

Issue 6 – The Secret Garden (extract from Chapter 21) by Frances Hodgson Burnett / ‘A Thing of Beauty’ by John Keats

We all want one don't we? A secret garden to call our own, a retreat from life's stresses, a place where we can feel safe? Mary Lennox and Dickon are two people who have been fortunate enough to find one. The question is: once you've found one, do you share it with others? The young Colin Craven, who for the last 10 years has been ailing away in his bedroom, convinced that he is going to die, has never seen it. Mary thinks he may be just the thing he needs.

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Issue 29 – Janet’s Repentance (extract from Chapter 17) by George Eliot / ‘Say Not The Struggle Naught Availeth’ by Arthur Hugh Clough

Following years of abuse from her drunken husband, Janet is turned through misery and shame to drink herself. Here she has been thrown out onto the street in the middle of the night and has sought refuge with her neighbour, Mrs Pettifer. As day dawns she is reflecting on her past, including her own mistakes and need for help, and also the future, as she imagines how she might begin to seek that help. Mr Tryan is the newly arrived Reverend, deeply unpopular with many in the village including her husband.

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Issue 37 – Sons and Lovers (extract from Chapter 1) by D.H. Lawrence / If I Had Known by Alice Dunbar Nelson

In this extract we take a look at the early married life of the Morels, the couple at the heart of the story. Things start off sunny but quite soon after their wedding the cracks begin to show, and we are left wondering whether this is a match which has been well made after all.

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Issue 42 – Mrs Dalloway (extract) by Virginia Woolf / ‘The Sparrow’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar

In these pages we begin to enter the minds of different people passing through a London street. Peter has just paid a visit to Clarissa, an old flame, admitting to her as they talk that he has now fallen in love again, this time with Daisy, a married woman with children. He has made this trip to London to see if he can help her get a divorce. But though at the time he had sounded sure of what he was saying, one begins to wonder, listening to Peter turn the situation over again in his mind, what is love really, and does it ever really exist purely as itself?

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Issue 45 – ‘The Lottery Ticket’ by Anton Chekhov / ‘The Best Thing In The World’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Have you ever dreamt of what it might feel like to see your numbers appear, that dawning realization that you have won the lottery? I wonder where your dreams might take you, what adventures you might have, the places you might go and things you would do? In this story we are going to meet Ivan Dmitrtich and his wife who are faced with this very situation.

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