Flora Macintyre, surgeon-mother-wife-authority, has sustained a formidable career and a tempestuous marriage for almost forty years – until, widowed and retired in the space of a few months, she is left suddenly adrift.
Taking refuge in a dusty village in France, Flora begins to face up to the compromises and sacrifices that have shaped her life, while back in England her daughters struggle with their own demons. 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.
"After two decades in which she’d barely allowed herself a taste of love, the remembrance of what they had almost had was still hoarded away, treasured, like a glimpse of immortality."
Young, ambitious and ready to take on the future, Marmion Hayter and her friends share an idyllic weekend in the Lake District to celebrate their graduation, little suspecting that the events of that summer will change their lives forever.
Twenty years later, they return to the same spot, summoned by a mysterious bequest. It's not long before old friendships and old romances are rekindled, but it's impossible to forget the tragedy that drove them apart…
How long does it take for our sins to be forgiven? And can the things we destroy ever be recovered?
Fay Weldon – A delight of a read! A wonderful page-turner of a novel about the complexity of female life, by a new writer who understands it all too well. You can have it all, but only if you’re prepared to pay the price. Love, career, motherhood, art, music – something has to go, but which? Or just possibly, all. An unputdownable novel, and so elegantly written! A tale for our times.
Juliet Nicolson (A House Full of Daughters) – The story, while being both structurally and emotionally thrillingly complex, is written with a kind of wonderful seamless balance as the different relationships and generations struggle and triumph with their own self absorbing lives. I recognised so many of those demands on women as they shift and ebb and flow with each generation. I was absolutely hooked on the story, the very best sort of fiction that makes you really MIND about those people who you have only just met but whose existence throbs with vitality.
Richard Mason (The Drowning People) - A richly textured tale of life and love, compromise and redemption. I loved it.