From the author of the acclaimed UNEXPECTED LESSONS IN LOVE - 'impossible to recommend more highly' Guardian
'Outdoes Muriel Spark and Evelyn Waugh' Margaret Drabble, Observer
Accused of child abuse, Father Roger Tree confesses at once; it masks a darker secret. Meanwhile his sister Romola faces a future without their beloved brother, the novelist Hereward Tree. Can she live with the ending of his last book? And then there is Hereward's much younger lover, Carina, who takes fate into her own hands. But it is Betty Winterborne, forced to re-examine the death of her son Mark twenty years before, who has the courage to face the truth.
There are the lies we tell others, and the lies we tell ourselves. This is a story about the difference.
The great-granddaughter of the poet Alice Meynell, Bernardine Bishop was the youngest witness in the Lady Chatterley trial in 1960. After writing two early novels, she taught in a London comprehensive school for ten years and then had a distinguished career as a psychotherapist, during which she brought up her two sons. Cancer forced her retirement in 2010 and she returned to her first love, fiction. Bernardine Bishop lived in London with her husband, until her death in July 2013.
An extraordinarily brave and powerful novel . . . one that pins down the darker aspects of human experience with a precision beyond most writers. — Gerard Woodward (author of Vanishing), Guardian
Remarkable and surprising . . . outdoes Muriel Spark and Evelyn Waugh in high Catholic comedy . . . The plot is brilliantly articulated: storylines present with effortless and enviable ease,minor characters are a delight . . . Bishop had long been fascinated by the concept of the "impossible moral conundrum", the day of reckoning, and here she has created one that keeps us in suspense to the last moment. She resolves it with a tragic humanity and wit. — Margaret Drabble, Observer
A testament to deft storytelling — Daily Mail
Bishop relishes coincidence and the unexpected quirks of fate . . . [with] a welcome lightness and sense of irony — Literary Review
Graceful and haunting — Sunday Mirror
Praise for UNEXPECTED LESSONS IN LOVE:
It's impossible to recommend the late Bernardine Bishop's wondrous book too highly
Bishop treats a fearful subject with an extraordinary lightness of touch; her humour and her emotional wisdom make this a delightful and humane novel. — The Times
This novel, wise, sharp and startlingly frank, distils a lifetime of reflection on the rules of attraction, affection - and family life. From confused youth to the ordeals and confusions of old age, her wry insights delight. — Independent
A wonderful novel, one of those rare books which leaves the reader with a deeper understanding of the human heart . . . This is an author of exceptional intelligence, subtlety and warmth. Expect to hear the name Bernardine Bishop when the lists for the Costa and Man Booker prizes are complied this year. — Spectator
This novel should appeal to Joanna Trollope fans . . . Bishop is a fine, intelligent writer, capable of handling moral and philosophical themes with a light touch. — Sunday Telegraph