Elizabeth Taylor’s ruthlessly observant study of eccentricity in old age is by turns savagely witty, joyfully funny and heartbreakingly sad.
On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel, to spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the Grim Reaper. Then one day Mrs Palfrey strikes up an unlikely friendship with an impoverished young writer, Ludo, who sees her as inspiration for his novel.