A respectable married man becomes unstuck in Penelope Lively’s witty take on love, literature and the dangers of middle-aged folly.

Mark is working on the life of Gilbert Strong - a writer about whom he thinks he knows everything. A happily married man, dedicated to a life of letters, Mark somehow manages to fall in love with Strong’s granddaughter, a vague young woman more interested in bedding plants and alpines than books or passion. As the summer of Mark’s obsessions steams along, he begins to understand that nothing is ever exactly what it seems - certainly not Gilbert Strong. And not himself either.

Shortlisted
The Booker Prize 1984
Published by
William Heinemann
Publication date
Penelope Lively

Penelope Lively

About the Author

Penelope Lively was born in Cairo. She is the author of many prize-winning novels and short story collections for both adults and children.
More about Penelope Lively

Other nominated books by Penelope Lively

Moon Tiger
Prize winner
The Road To Lichfield