Arditti's fictional Francombe is a familiar seaside town and a brilliantly revealing microcosm of a society where greed and power are embraced . . . Widows and Orphans is powerfully realistic. Arditti has written an uncomfortable but very readable novel about the careless greeds of the way we live now
One of the many pleasures of this novel is the range and depth of the author's sympathies. Moreover, Arditti has a fine eye for the significant detail and the novel is beautifully constructed . . . It is funny and moving and deeply tender
'For all the sparky one-liners, the crisp satire on small-town preoccupations and the increasingly hilarious newspaper columns prefacing each chapter, this is a profound and unsettling book . . . Like a Graham Greene for our time, Arditti has written an exquisite novel which traces the challenging journey of the human heart towards the grace of acceptance'
Arditti has a mischievous take on small town politics, and the characters are brilliant. Benign satire, with a bite
There are splendidly comic scenes worthy of Alan Ayckbourn. While the deeply moving last chapter is like the final movement of a string quartet, weaving together the various themes. Arditti's strength in creating an entire community, full of rich and contrasting characters has resulted in a satisfying book, full of insight, pain, compassion and humour. I cannot recommend it highly enough
A plot concerning the fate of the historic local pier provides an entertaining narrative motor, while Arditti's wit and typically breezy style keep the pages turning effortlessly
At a time when 'good' can so often be synonymous with uninteresting and bland, Arditti has constructed a complex, witty and thoughtful portrait of an innately decent man and the messy modern world he lives in