Family Money, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Fanny Pye's London house, bought for a song many years earlier, is now worth a small fortune.

When she intervenes in a street brawl and is hospitalised, her children tactfully suggest that she move to the suburbs, coincidently releasing some useful 'family money'.

Fanny has different views about inheritance and property and is anyway more concerned that she cannot properly remember the events of that night which ended in the death of a stranger.

Then, as her amnesia clears, she is overwhelmed by a terrible sense of danger.




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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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