Well-observed, humane, and very funny.
Finely observed, often tantalizing novel...Estorick writes with wry, elegant ease. Sophisticated, apparently feather-light repartee has elusive, sinister undercurrents.
Full of incidental insights...consistently intelligent.
A sharp satirist of class and family. He's adept at the nuances of domestic oppression, the bickering, the transmission of skewed hopes and frustrated affections across the years...arrestingly grotesque and finely compelling...its power lies mainly in its inconsequentiality...Estorick has an acute eye and ear and he'll certainly be heard from as a novelist again.
I read it again, and again with pleasure and admiration. It's a very funny novel... The throw away wit is an ongoing bonus; the dialogue crackles; I almost think you've invented something - the short four- or five-line conversations standing like islands in the story, half a dozen comments and retorts like little explosions - nothing wasted, every word a neat and sometimes savage barb. And all funny in spite of the pain.
It's refreshing - a tonic in fact - to read about older people fully realised as funny, complex, entertaining and even sexy individuals . . . could be three times longer and still great fun
This beautifully observed tableau of an increasingly feverish England can be read in one enjoyable gulp