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Redhead By the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Micah Mortimer is an ordinary man. Middle aged, he lives alone in the basement of an apartment block where he is also the part time janitor. He has a small one man company called Tech Hermit troubleshooting domestic IT problems, and his life is ordered. He likes the quiet life, the predictable pattern that he has reduced his everyday life to. Even his girlfriend Cassie fits into this pattern. A one night a week sleepover with the occasional phone call…

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Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce

No, not a Volkswagen Beetle as someone thought J but an actual creepy crawly – and a very rare one at that!

Set in 1950 Miss Margery Benson is a disgruntled spinster who, in a fit of pique, gives up her dead end teaching job and follows a dream from her younger days.  Alone in the world she can now make her own decisions and she advertises for a companion to join her on an expedition to the other side…

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