Adoration (Lessing, Doris)

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The Grandmothers’ is the story of two women who meet as schoolgirls and, in later life, live next-door to each other as neighbours. When their marriages collapse, each finds herself infatuated with the other’s son. This is a searingly intimate portrait of an unconventional extended family and the lengths to which people will go to find happiness and love. It is a ruthless dissection of the veneer of middle-class conventions that manages to be at once universal and heartbreakingly personal.

With ‘The Grandmothers’, as well as the other novellas in this collection – ‘Victoria and the Staveneys’, ‘The Reason for It’ and ‘A Love Child’ – Doris Lessing proves once again that she is one of our most valuable and insightful living authors.