A brilliant follow-up to Hidden Lives, Margaret Forster's most personal book yet takes up the story of her gritty, northern father, Arthur, intertwined with that of her sister-in-law, Marion, who died of cancer at almost half the age of the 96 year-old Arthur. Margaret Forster's father was not a man to answer questions - least of all questions about life and death, so she attempts to answer them for herself. As Forster looks back at Arthur's life and indomitable character, she evokes incidents from her childhood, his working life and stubborn old age, trying to make sense of their largely unspoken relationship, and of his tenacious hold on life, and on his family. Arthur and Marion's lives were ordinary, and apparently unremarkable, but, when faced with death, lives like these become strangely precious.
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(198mm x 129mm x 16mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
The acclaimed novelist and biographer has written, extremely candidly, about the death of her father from old age and the death of her sister-in-law of cancer. This doesn't really follow on from her brilliant Hidden Lives (the story of her mother and grandmother) but is more closely related to the fictionalization of her mother-in-law's old age which we read about in Have the Men Had Enough? It is not a happy book, but an examination of her feelings about the dying of these two people, for one of whom she felt an overwhelming sense of duty but never really loved, and the other of whom she loved desperately and hoped to make her passing easier. While not light reading, it is brilliantly written and compulsively readable. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Margaret Forster
Margaret Forster is the author of many successful and acclaimed novels, including Have the Men Had Enough?, Lady's Maid, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, Is There Anything You Want?, Over and Isa and May, as well as bestselling memoirs (Hidden Lives and Precious Lives) and biographies. Her next book, The Unknown Bridesmaid will be published in 2013. She is married to writer and journalist Hunter Davies and lives in London and the Lake District.