10/01/2004

A Long Walk in Wintertime

This is a terrific book! Libby Purves' second novel features an apparently happy family: Dan - a 'new' man who enjoys cooking and organising; Alice - a bohemian, opera-loving, caring mother; Clemmie - a spirited, independent 14-year-old girl and Jamie: a shy, artistic 12-year-old boy who's rather lacking in self-esteem.

Dan treats Alice and her closest friends (rather a mixed bunch) to a night at the opera and a meal in their home, on Alice's 37th birthday. Then he drops a bombshell, confessing to something which rocks the foundations of their marriage, and indeed their lives. The book looks at Alice's emotions and reactions as she and Dan have to grow apart for a while, and also how their children are affected in different ways. Yet it's a light-hearted book overall, with some mild humour as well as deeply moving scenes. A very enjoyable and satisfying novel. For a longer more thorough review I wrote for the Ciao site, see 'From London to Norfolk'.

Highly recommended.

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