Jane Austen's love life- long the subject of speculation- is finally, delightfully dealt with in the title story of this collection. Many of the other stories, like 'The Sidmouth Letters,' bring together past and present- with sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing, often intensely moving results.
With quiet elegance and devastating accuracy, Jane Gardam probes many and varied lives. We meet a trio of Kensington widows, mean-spirited and middle-aged, paying improbable tribute to a long exploited nanny; we await- with dread- a stranger to tea in an Engliish home; we witness the mercurial changes that take place in young love, and we watch as a bohemian, passionate past returns to tempt domestic bliss.
A fresh and huge delight... deliciously barbed. - GUARDIAN
The economical exactitude of her observation makes each of these eleven stories a keen pleasure. - DAILY TELEGRAPH
Brilliantly observed... moving. - THE TIMES
... combines an extraordinary vivid imagination with a felicity of expression, a hugely developed sense of the absurd, and the ability to involve a reader's emotions with her characters in a few pages. - EVENING STANDARD