This collection of short stories was published after the death of the author, Penelope Fitzgerald, in 2000. Penelope Fitzgerald was renowned for writing short, concise, novels. Once again this is a short book containing eight short stories. The stories are set in a variety of countries including, Australia, New Zealand, France and Greece as well as Britain and in different time periods. The stories, dealing with human foibles, uncertainties and missed opportunities, are told with a quiet humour in the observation of the characters and their actions. Reading the stories, I found, however, was not always straightforward and I had to read several of the stories twice, to see what I had missed when reading them the first time, in order to fully appreciate what had happened and why. Like much of the writing of Penelope Fitzgerald the stories / characters tend to remain with the reader after finishing the book as the author challenges the reader to think about the actions of the characters.
Small but perfectly formed - Observer 29 October 2000
Rough-hewn lives - New York Times 26 November 2000