‘This beautifully balanced novel describes the arrangements, accommodations, pacts and treaties of our ordinary lives’ The Times
In the sweet shop Willy Chapman was free, absolved from all responsibility, and he ran his sweet shop like his life – quietly, steadfastly, devotedly.
It was a bargain struck between Chapman and his beautiful, emotionally injured wife – a bargain based on unexpressed, inexpressible love and on a courageous acceptance of life’s deprivation . . . threatened only by Dorry, their clever, angry, unforgiving daughter.
‘Moving . . . Through the succinctly evoked provincial decades one of the engrossing features is the difficulty of love and of communication between generations’ London Review of Books
‘A remarkable novel . . . There is a touch of Joyce in Graham Swift’s revelation of the hidden poetry of small men’s lives’ New York Times Book Review