Released on 14 July 2016.

Read extract

An Irrelevant Woman

3.38 based on 13 ratings & 2 reviews on


Their family has always been a living thing, its members encompassing supporting each other, confident in the indestructible bond of kinship. Murdoch and Janet Saunders, Hugh, Stephanie, Katrina, Malcolm, and Humphrey the dog.

Murdoch stands at the head of the family, a highly respected novelist. But Janet is its true centre. She has guarded them all, protected them from wavering doubt and disillusion. She has always been there. Now the last of her brood has left home leaving her without a purpose. Her children plan fresh careers for her without understanding her loss. Murdoch too is undergoing some kind of transformation. Perhaps Janet, so sensitive to his writing gift, realises that this also is slipping away?

Abandoned, suddenly adrift in a sea of black despair, she has no shelter, no moorings, no direction. How will she manage? How will her family manage?

Unblinkingly honest, Mary Hocking's novel is warm, refreshing and utterly contemporary.

In the media

A novel of compassion and humour
The Times
It is extremely good, very perceptive, quiet, intelligent, and it says a lot about the ordinary human condition
Good Housekeeping
A novelist to watch
Daily Telegraph