Jane Austen's love life- long the subject of speculation- is finally, delightfully dealt with in the title story of this collection. Many of the other stories, like 'The Sidmouth Letters,' bring together past and present- with sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing, often intensely moving results.
With quiet elegance and devastating accuracy, Jane Gardam probes many and varied lives. We meet a trio of Kensington widows, mean-spirited and middle-aged, paying improbable tribute to a long exploited nanny; we await- with dread- a stranger to tea in an Engliish home; we witness the mercurial changes that take place in young love, and we watch as a bohemian, passionate past returns to tempt domestic bliss.
Jane Gardam is a Whitbread Award Winner and her novel GOD ON THE ROCKS was runner-up for the Booker Prize. She is winner of the David Higham Award and the Royal Society of Literature's Winifred Holtby Prize.THE PANGS OF LOVE won the Katherine Mansfield Award. She was awarded an OBE in January 2009.