The tragicomic tale of a dysfunctional middle-class family in postwar England from the award-winning author of Injury Time. Though the Second World War has ended, times are anything but peaceful for seventeen-year-old Alan. His father, an entrepreneur who was once able to provide the family with a comfortable life, is now struggling to put food on the table. Meanwhile, Alan's mother dresses as if money is plentiful and spends all her time avoiding her husband, indulging in the escapism of romance novels, and engaging in real-world love affairs. And as if a household struck by poverty and marital trouble isn't enough, Alan's bohemian sister, Madge, has been sneaking off into the sand dunes for lusty rendezvous with a German POW. All Alan wants is for his sister to stop cavorting around and driving their father mad—and for a pretty choir girl named Janet to notice him. But the more he wishes for a normal life, the more chaotic it becomes. Everyone in his family is hiding something, not only from one another but also from themselves. And they're all desperately clinging to something that is inevitably falling apart. Award-winning British author Beryl Bainbridge has a keen eye for the dark humor that lurks in misery and a knack for illuminating the emotional rubble of postwar England. A Quiet Life is an entertaining family drama that is at once a quick read and a lasting portrait of twentieth-century life.
by Beryl Bainbridge
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