Author(s): Margaret Forster
Margaret Forster, in this engaging, intriguing novel, about a young woman and two grandmothers, uncovers the shocking truths that family history reveals. The curiously named Isamay, a would-be academic, is trying to write a coherent thesis about grandmothers in history - from Sarah Bernhardt and George Sand to the matriarchal Queen Victoria and other influential grannies - while constantly ambushed by the secrets her own family has been keeping. An only child, she is named after her grandmothers, Isa and May, who were there at her birth and who have formed and influenced her in very different ways. Jealous of each other, they both want to be first in their granddaughter's affections. Isa has an edge, in that young Isamay looks like her, but Isa's reserved and elegant exterior hides startling surprises that could undermine her granddaughter's certainties. May, on the other hand, is plump, indomitable and opinionated, and it's from her that Isamay inherits her stubborn determination. Isamay, almost thirty, has never wanted children, but suddenly considers changing her mind. Her live-in lover, Ian (always mysterious about his own family history) is sure that he does not want a child.
An engaging, intriguing novel which will appeal straight to Margaret Forster's heartland, about a young woman, her two very different grandmothers, Isa and May, and the secrets that families keep.
Born in Carlisle, Margaret Forster is the author of many successful and acclaimed novels, including Have the Men Had Enough?, Lady's Maid, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, Is There Anything You Want? and most recently Over, as well as bestselling memoirs (Hidden Lives and Precious Lives) and biographies. She is married to writer and journalist Hunter Davies and lives in London and the Lake District.