Francesca Stubbs has a very full life. A highly regarded expert on housing for the elderly who is herself getting on in age, she drives restlessly round England. Amid the professional conferences she attends, she fits in visits to old friends, brings home-cooked dinners to her ex-husband, texts her son, who is grieving over the sudden death of his girlfriend, and drops in on her daughter, a quirky young woman who lives in a floodplain in the West Country. This dark and glittering novel moves back and forth between an interconnected group of family and friends in England and a seemingly idyllic expat community in the Canary Islands, where we also observe the flow of immigrants from an increasingly war-torn Middle East.
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"This masterly novel by the great English author Margaret Drabble is beautifully served by Anna Bentinck's low-key and sensitive performance, which permits the book's language and meaning to shine. Ostensibly about Fran, a "woman of a certain age" who assesses sheltered housing for the elderly, and her relationships with friends, relatives, and acquaintances, the novel is a consideration of the choices we make in youth and age, and a paean to surviving those choices--including how to make one's way through being old. It's a lovely, considered novel for listeners of all ages. When needed, Bentinck gives unique voices to different characters, but it's mostly her rhythm, pacing, and audible love of the book that make her performance glow. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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