In Margaret Forster’s characteristically compelling and clear-eyed style, her latest work is a humane and heartbreaking novel about a taboo subject, and about what it feels like to be a survivor.
What do Mrs H, Rachel, Edwina, Ida, Sarah In Margaret Forster’s characteristically compelling and clear-eyed style, her latest work is a humane and heartbreaking novel about a taboo subject, and about what it feels like to be a survivor.
What do Mrs H, Rachel, Edwina, Ida, Sarah, Dot and Chrissie have in common? They’re all women — fat, thin, old, young, professional, incompetent — and appear as diverse as human nature can be. But they are all survivors. This compelling novel follows the ripples that go out into ordinary lives, women’s lives in particular, that have been scarred by a shared experienced, all connected by the same hospital clinic. It is a novel about living in the shadow of disease and with its scars, whether mental or physical, looking back over one’s shoulder while trying to go forward.
At its heart is a strong, difficult, but finally, vulnerable old woman, Mrs. H, who is generous and helpful to a fault, and who lives alone with a secret that she tells no one, but which, finally, explains everything. Her niece is a young doctor who can’t take the strain. Alongside them are the other walking wounded, getting on with their lives: Ida, once beautiful and now hiding her scars under layers of fat; tiny Dot who is stronger than she seems; Edwina, a mother who lives vicariously through others; Rachel who finds out almost too late what it’s like to soar above the crowd; and of course the men in their lives.
From the marvelous ambivalence of the title question, Is There Anything You Want? leaves us with a whole lot to consider about life and its infinite variety. ...Continua Nascondi