Portrait of a Family

Richmal Crompton

27 August 2015
198 pages


Happily married for thirty years with three children that have long since grown up, Christopher Mainwaring finds himself at a total loss following the death of his beloved wife, Susan. Yet the joyful marriage he remembers may not have been all it seemed, for no one in the family knows of the troubling words his wife uttered to him from her death bed. . .

Alluding to a possible affair that took place many years ago with a close family friend, the grieving widower is haunted by visions of Susan's infidelity and seeks to find out the truth. In his quest to unearth his wife's potential duplicity, Christopher finds himself looking to his children's complex lives for answers: Joy who is now married with children and concerns of her own, the professionally inept but kind-hearted Frank and his neurotic wife Rachel, and Derek, whose delusions of grandeur with his struggling business causes much distress for his long-suffering wife, Olivia.

Portrait of a Family by Richmal Crompton provides universal reflections and intimate insights into the dynamics of family life with a startling clarity that will stay with the reader long after the final page has been turned.

I imagine that Portrait of a Family will make many friends. It is interesting, it reads like the truth . . . It is good humoured and cheery, and even has its boisterous moments. It is, indeed, a delightful little study of 'ordinary' people who, of course, are not ordinary at all.
A fine novel. . . genuinely moving and the writing is excellent
The book is interesting, and written with even more than the author's usual ability