The Lives of Women

Insightful and full of suspense, this is an uncompromising portrayal of the suburbs and the cruelties brought about by the demands of respectability. A novel that truly makes us think about the lives of women.

After a long exile spent in New York, Elaine Nichols returns to live in the home of her childhood with her invalid father and his geriatric Alsatian dog. The house backing on to theirs has been sold and as the old furniture is removed to make way for the new, she is taken back in time to a summer in the 1970’s when she was almost sixteen. Then, this small out-of-town estate was an enclave for women and children while the men were mysterious shadows who left every day for the outside world. The women were isolated but kept their loneliness and frustrations hidden behind a veneer of suburban respectability. When an American mother and daughter move into the estate, the veneer begins to crack. The women learn how to socialise, how to drink martinis, how to care less about their wifely and maternal duties. While the women are distracted, Elaine and her blind friend Agatha, find their own entry into the adult world. The result would be a tragic event that would mark the rest of Elaine’s life and become the cause of her long and guilt-ridden exile.

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