Victoria Stratford's birthday party for her husband David is a resounding success. It shows off their beautiful Wimbledon house, their wonderful children, their perfect lives, and it conceals the tensions and ambitions that infest their marriage. While Victoria graciously welcomes her guests, the only person missing is David himself.
Victoria's sister Clara and her husband Tom are there. Unworldly and idealistic, Tom scorns David's quest for wealth. While Clara is content with her job as a university lecturer and their shabby home, she is yearning for something and Tom cannot see the growing need for happiness that may take Clara away from him.
In the garden, the youngest sister Annie talks to her husband Hugo. They are ideally suited and very content with each other. The only blight on their lives is Hugo's mother, Barbara, whose jealousy and possessiveness have turned into a poisonous hatred of Annie.
This one evening begins a train of events that will lead each sister down a different path - towards love, sex, grief, betrayal and happiness. Each of them will learn what it is to be a wife, a sister and a lover.
Jane Elizabeth Varley's novels are inspired by the events of her own life. She was married and divorced by the time she was thirty and spent several tough but fulfilling years as a single parent. Now remarried, Jane had a baby daughter at the age of forty and lives with her husband and teenage son in the USA.
Three sisters and their marriages are the focus for this novel of contemporary manners. Varley cuts to the quick of modern relationships as the sisters confront the consequences of death, infidelity and estrangement. An absorbing story and vivid characters keep the pages turning until a satisfying conclusion.
WOMAN & HOME
A great page-turner that brings to mind the landscape associated with Joanna Trollope.