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Family Money Hardcover – 1 Dec 1991

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Dec 1991
£29.31 £10.32
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1 edition (Dec. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312063512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312063511
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,432,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Her readers should be numbered like the sands of the sea . . . A wonderfully satisfying novel, wise, tolerant (GUARDIAN)

Marvellous novel ... funny, subtle, sympathetic (OBSERVER)

One of the wisest and most versatile of our novelists (CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH, GUARDIAN) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A wonderfully compelling, ironic novel about families, old age and money, with all the tempo of a thriller. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A London property bubble, impoverished hospitals, worries about care in old age - this novel, published in 1991, feels oddly topical.

Family Money is the story of recently widowed Fanny (her name perhaps the one thing that dates it). Returning from an evening out, she becomes involved in a violent incident. She is injured and has little memory of what has occurred.

Her children, solicitous of her (or perhaps her half-a-million-pound house) try to make plans for her. Fanny, however, has ideas of her own, as well as a mutual fascination with an enigmatic young man living on the canal at the end of her garden which only grows as her memory returns.

Bawden takes an unflinching look at her characters with their assumptions and their self-justification. They are privileged but they are also needy. She is not afraid to mock them but there is compassion too, and a warm, understated humour.

Fanny negotiates her physical weakness and her erratic memory with dignity and irony. She looks back with a clear eye at the life she has led and the trials she may face.

This kind of book has rather fallen out of fashion. Superficially it is a domestic tale of the moneyed upper-middle classes. It would be easy to ask, who cares? But this apparently simple story, lightly told, is beautifully structured.

It asks questions about age, class, morality, mortality, friendship and love, all in less than 300 pages of crisp, cool prose. And there's a nice little twist at the end.
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By A Customer on 11 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book a few years ago and loved it, and was delighted to find it again when browsing Amazon. The story has great characters and a gripping plot, while still being a gentle and entertaining read. I just love this book, but I'm not exactly sure why - I suppose this shows what a talented writer Nina Bawden is.
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By A Customer on 23 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
Although the book was certainly not a fun read it was at times amusing while dealing with such serious matters as the 'family money' of the title, something that concerns many of the older generation. I could almost see/hear my mother in the main character of the book, who is entirely credible, as were most of the other characters. Bawden is also a keen observer of family relationships, in particular those between mothers and their grown-up children who are themselves parents. On the whole an enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did enjoy this novel, but had the sense of reading 'retro fiction' from the 80s, when I happily devoured Margaret Drabble, Iris Murdoch, Anita Brookner and other explorers of English middle class angst. Fanny, the novel's heroine, is the widow of a diplomat, now living in a large Georgian house in a leafy corner of affluent London. Her random witnessing of a street crime in which she was injured provokes family concerns about where she should live going forward. The anxiety surrounding the house -a valuable family asset - and its future form a backdrop for the novel's events. Sibling tensions, parent-child issues, employer-staff relations, a fire, a menacing neighbour, suspicions of adultery, the reappearance of a childhood sweetheart, it's all here! And, of course, a good dose of class matters (well, this is an English novel). It is a fine read but it did feel a bit like the literary equivalent of dining on prawn cocktail, steak and black forest gateau.
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