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Jane Austen's love life- long the subject of speculation- is finally, delightfully dealt with in the title story of this collection. Many of the other stories, like 'The Sidmouth Letters,' bring together past and present- with sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing, often intensely moving results.With quiet elegance and devastating accuracy, Jane Gardam probes many and varied lives. We meet a trio of Kensington widows, mean-spirited and middle-aged, paying improbable tribute to a long exploited nanny; we await- with dread- a stranger to tea in an Engliish home; we witness the mercurial changes that take place in young love, and we watch as a bohemian, passionate past returns to tempt domestic bliss.
Jane Gardam is a Whitbread Award Winner and her novel GOD ON THE ROCKS was runner-up for the Booker Prize. She is winner of the David Higham Award and the Royal Society of Literature's Winifred Holtby Prize.THE PANGS OF LOVE won the Katherine Mansfield Award.