From the author of the acclaimed UNEXPECTED LESSONS IN LOVE.
Accused of child abuse, Father Roger Tree confesses at once; it masks a darker secret. Meanwhile his sister Romola faces a future without their beloved brother, the novelist Hereward Tree. Can she live with the ending of his last book?
And then there is Hereward's much younger lover, Carina, who takes fate into her own hands. But it is Betty Winterborne, forced to re-examine the death of her son Mark twenty years before, who has the courage to face the truth.
There are the lies we tell others, and the lies we tell ourselves. This is a story about the difference.
Remarkable and surprising . . . outdoes Muriel Spark and Evelyn Waugh in high Catholic comedy . . . The plot is brilliantly articulated: storylines present with effortless and enviable ease,minor characters are a delight . . . Bishop had long been fascinated by the concept of the "impossible moral conundrum", the day of reckoning, and here she has created one that keeps us in suspense to the last moment. She resolves it with a tragic humanity and wit. - Observer
An extraordinarily brave and powerful novel . . . one that pins down the darker aspects of human experience with a precision beyond most writers. - Guardian
A testament to deft storytelling - Daily Mail
Bishop relishes coincidence and the unexpected quirks of fate . . . [with] a welcome lightness and sense of irony - Literary Review
Graceful and haunting - Sunday Mirror
Praise for UNEXPECTED LESSONS IN LOVE:
This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in years. I found it completely gripping. The carefully but unobtrusively structured plot (involving adoption, DNA and paternity) is domestic but with a wide reach; it is played out against a backdrop of world events. On reflection, I have never before read a book which confronts a serious and almost unmentionable illness with such lightness of touch. It's happy and it's cheering, with a beautiful warmth to it, achieved without a moment of sentimentality. I loved it.
It's impossible to recommend the late Bernardine Bishop's wondrous book too highly - Guardian
Bishop treats a fearful subject with an extraordinary lightness of touch; her humour and her emotional wisdom make this a delightful and humane novel. - The Times
The great-granddaughter of the poet Alice Meynell, Bernardine Bishop was the youngest witness in the Lady Chatterley trial in 1960. After writing two early novels, she taught in a London comprehensive school for ten years and then had a distinguished career as a psychotherapist, during which she brought up her two sons. Cancer forced her retirement in 2010 and she returned to her first love, fiction. Bernardine Bishop lived in London with her husband, until her death in July 2013.