A traveller on a train returning to London smells the burn of brakes as it hisses to a stop in the middle of the countryside. He sees a white-faced woman leap from the train and race to the aid of a sheep stranded on its back, unable to rise, in a field. Righting it, she turns, and he sees her face is full of tragedy. Considering tragedies of his own, he does not intrude, but the image lodges in his mind: a strange but familiar despair, unable, despite itself, to ignore the desperation it recognises in others.
From these seeds Mary Wesley draws out a plot of an unforgettable impact: of loss, of release, of a necessarily comic acceptance of fate, of love - the 'imaginative experience'. Rich in character and wit, and powerfully moving, this is a novel of the heart's pain and deliverance.
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Great Characters, Wonderful Reader