The Things You Do for Love
Flora Macintyre, surgeon-mother-wife-authority, has sustained a formidable career and a tempestuous marriage for almost forty years. Widowed and retired at sixty, she is forced to face up to both the past and the future – to come to terms with the compromises and sacrifices that have shaped her life, and to work out what is left for her now her career is over and her daughters have grown up.
Travelling through France after the death of her husband, eminent music critic Henry Jones, Flora meets a wine merchant in the Loire Valley and agrees to swap houses with him for the summer. In the dusty setting of St Rémy, she begins to construct a new kind of life for herself. Meanwhile, her daughters are struggling with their own lives back in London. Lou, a successful city lawyer, is pregnant, and bewildered by the destabilising of her relationship with Alice, a sculptor whose latest collection has just won a major prize. Kitty, a reluctant music student, is swept off her feet both by the unexpected discovery of her creative talent and by her conflicted passion for fellow student Daniel. When each is devastated by a personal crisis, they flee to France to join their mother, and the stage is set for the family’s secrets to be uncovered at last.
THE THINGS YOU DO FOR LOVE is about how we tell the story of our lives, and about our capacity for love. Richly woven through with art and music, it is a page-turner of emotional depth, eloquence and wisdom.