Book - 1998
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Blackwell North Amer
All her life Stella Brentwood has considered herself a bird of passage. As an anthropologist she studied social networks - in the villages of the Nile Delta, Greece and Malta, and the community of an Orkney island. She has known love, but she remains alone, by choice and by chance. Now retired, she has decided to buy a home, to root herself in the Somerset landscape.
Her retirement plans signify a new phase of stability, but Stella finds life in the West Country as subtle and elaborate a social system as any other she has encountered. She is absorbed by the emotions aroused by new and old relationships - with Richard, the prosaic widower of an old college friend, whose baffling overtures take her by surprise, and with Judith, an archaeologist whose relationship is in flux. The hamlet that is now her home proves itself deceptive - an apparently tranquil backwater where the tensions within a dysfunctional family build to a destructive climax.

Publisher: London : Viking : Penguin Books, 1998
ISBN: 9780140256949
Characteristics: 217 p. ; 23 cm


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WVMLStaffPicks Nov 13, 2014

A retired anthropologist buys herself a cottage in Devon and settles down with her books, memories and a dog. However, before she knows it she has become the object of affection of her deceased girlfriend’s husband and eyed as a potential roommate by her lesbian best friend. It has all become a little too sticky for comfort and like the trapped fly, she struggles to be free.

Feb 01, 2010

Penelope Lively's books center on character development, and some of those characters are absolutely magic.

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