A rather mysterious old clergyman is dead, and his most adoring child, sixteen-year-old Athene is desolate. A statuesque beauty, greatly admired, she is also lonely, untouchable and living a secret life of fairly dangerous fantasy.
Athene's mother, at once highly organised and monumentally vague, dispatches her children to spend the holidays with assorted friends and relatives. For Athene, victim of plans gone awry, that golden summer after the funeral becomes deliciously puzzling fodder for her fantasy. Stuck in a seaside hotel with an inarticulate and beautiful boy, marooned in a seaside cottage with a painter, and finally alone in an empty school with a young master, she finds that men are not all as saintly as her father- and that she is far from saintly herself...
Funny and exact...you can't help cheering, enjoying, wanting more. - SPECTATOR
The pattern of THE SUMMER AFTER THE FUNERAL, like that of an Iris Murdoch satires, is as intricate and delicate as a mazurka... To enjoy the full impact of this marvellously entertaining book one cannot afford to skip a single word. - TLS
Extraordinary... Mrs Gardam is a writer of original spirit, her observations acute and funny/sad. - GUARDIAN
Jane Gardam to me is everything that's right about contemporary fiction...there's nothing more difficult than trying to catch a mood and I think she does that to perfection. - Margaret Foster