‘A beautiful book, savage and tender by turns… attending To Esther Freud’s still, truthful voice becomes not only a pleasure but a necessity.’
"William is tall and blond and handsome. He cooks homemade ravioli, cuts trees down with a chainsaw, and plays the guitar. When Francine rents two rooms from him, her daughter, nine-year-old Tess, cannot believe their good luck, and sets out on a campaign to make him love her. But William has three daughters of his own, a wife 500 miles away and a half-built garage to finish. And then there is Tess's brother to win round - Jake, who from the first day feels nothing for William but contempt." "When William and Francine become more deeply involved, Tess tries even harder to please the adults that she loves while staying loyal to Jake. So the two families become one, with the usual muddle of good intentions and the confusion of looking for happiness while trying to please."
‘I cannot remember reading so exact and involving an evocation of what it is like to be a child’
‘She is brilliant – no, more that, she’s probably the best author of her generation – at depicting siblings and their infinite, terrible rivalries… exceptional.’