By Margaret Drabble
Houghton Mifflin HarcourtOctober 2013

Hardcover304 pages, $26.00, ISBN: 9780544158900
Subject: Family / Mother & Daughter / Coming of Age

"This is an intimate look at a small family and its circle, told with wit, sensitivity, and deft knowledge of the household details of its setting. Drabble, the distinguished author of more than two dozen novels (e.g., The Radiant Way; The Seven Sisters) and works of nonfiction (The Oxford Companion to English Literature), is a masterly storyteller and a preeminent chronicler of modern life...Readers who yearn for well-crafted fiction full of thoughtful ideas and observations should welcome this heartily."Library Journal, Starred Review

"Drabble (A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman, 2011, etc.) enfolds the moving personal story of a single mother’s care for her mentally disabled daughter within a somber narrative of aging families and declining social optimism…The Victorian explorer David Livingstone, William Wordsworth’s poetry, Auguste Rodin’s sculpture and Marcel Proust’s novels all play a part in Drabble’s deeply intellectual, though never pretentious consideration of our intricate connections and obligations to others. Thoughtful and provocative, written with the author’s customary intelligence and quiet passion."Kirkus Review

"Dame of the British Empire Drabble is in peak form in this marvelously dexterous, tartly funny, and commanding novel of moral failings and women’s quandaries, brilliantly infusing penetrating social critique with stinging irony as she considers what life makes of us and what we make of life... Given Drabble’s standing as one of the giants of world literature, elevated attention will be paid to her first novel since The Sea Lady (2007)."Booklist, Starred Review

"Having announced in 2009 that she would stop writing fiction for fear of repeating herself, Drabble has, thankfully, had a change of heart. Here she offers a wrenching but clear-eyed look at the responsibilities of motherhood. Pregnant owing to an affair with a married professor, graduate student Jessica Speight gives birth to golden, glowy Anna. It soon becomes apparent that Anna will never be a normal child, and both character and reader must adjust to a different understanding of parenting."Library Journal, "Barbara's Picks" Pre-Pub Alert




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