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Mothering Sunday: A Romance (Vintage International) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

The best compliment I can pay a book is to know that I will never part with it; that I will treasure it and revisit it. This is such a novel. It is a complex, wonderfully original and unforgettable "romance" with twists and turns I never saw coming. Swift writes with humor and wisdom, creating vivid characters and subtle truths with an economy of prose. The alluring romance that begins the novel "once upon a time" on a sunday in 1924 in the English countryside is between an orphaned maid and the heir of a neighboring estate. After the events of that day, the story takes an unforseen path that led me to believe that the real romance here is between writer and writing, both for Swift and for his protagonist. This is Swift's love-song to the process of reworking, reimagining memories to get to "the quick, the heart, the nut, the pith: the trade of truth-telling" ...all the while knowing that "many things in life..can never be explained at all." But still writers write and readers read in a search for truth and answers. I admit it, I'm in love, and my romance is with reading masterful novelists such as Graham Swift. 

— From Jeanne's Picks

The most beautiful, deep & affecting work I've read this year.  Simply put? Sublime.

— From Shannon's Picks

May 2016 Indie Next List

“A beautiful afternoon on Mothering Sunday - now known as Mother's Day -- in 1924 provides the backdrop for this exquisite tale of love, longing, and memory. Jane Fairchild, a housemaid, has been the longtime lover of the heir-apparent of the estate next door. Their final cataclysmic afternoon together will alter the course of her destiny in ways that she never contemplated. Told in flashbacks by the nonagenarian Jane, this rare gem of a novella will haunt readers long after they turn the final pages. Superb!”
— Pamela Klinger-Horn (E), Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN


On an unseasonably warm spring day in 1924, twenty-two-year-old Jane Fairchild, a maid at an English country house, meets with her secret lover, the young heir of a neighboring estate. He is about to be married to a woman more befitting his social status, and the time has come to end the affair—but events unfold in ways Jane could never have predicted.
As the narrative moves back and forth across the twentieth century, what we know and understand about Jane—about the way she loves, thinks, feels, sees, and remembers—expands with every page. In Mothering Sunday, Booker Prize-winning novelist Graham Swift has crafted an emotionally soaring and profoundly moving work of fiction.

About the Author

Graham Swift was born in 1949 and is the author of ten novels; two collections of short stories; and Making an Elephant, a book of essays, portraits, poetry and reflections on his life in writing. With Waterland he won The Guardian Fiction Award, and with Last Orders the Booker Prize. Both novels have since been made into films. His work has appeared in more than thirty

Praise For…

“Haunting.” —The New York Times

“Exquisite. . . Mothering Sunday shows love, lust, and ordinary decency struggling against the bars of an unjust English caste system.” —Kazuo Ishiguro, The Guardian

“A book you’ll want to read more than once—and then urge on your friends.” —NPR
“An exquisite, emotionally resonant romance.” —Entertainment Weekly
“A fairy tale of sexual and intellectual awakening.” —The New Yorker
Product Details
ISBN: 9781101971727
ISBN-10: 110197172X
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: January 10th, 2017
Pages: 192
Language: English
Series: Vintage International