Until events run wildly out of hand, Charleen Forrest manages to cope with the uncertainties of a failed marriage, trying to live her own life and raise a son on her frugal income. She is not unaware of the hazards: "family, banktellers, ex-husband, landladies, bus drivers... men on the make who want her to lie back and accept (this is what you need, baby), friends who feel sorry for her." Her resourcefulness is a delight; her uncanny observations and surprising irony reveal a witty, wry edge that is apt to make you laugh out loud.
About the author
Carol Shields was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1935 and moved to Canada, at the age of 22, after studying at the University of Exeter in England and the University of Ottawa. She was the author of over 20 books, including plays, poetry, essays, short fiction, novels, a work of criticism on Susanna Moodie, and a biography of Jane Austen. Her 1993 novel The Stone Diaries won the Governor General's Award for Fiction, the American Book Critics' Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. It was also a runner up for the Booker Prize, bringing her an international following. Larry's Party (also available from BTC Audiobooks) won England's Orange Prize, given to the best book by a woman writer in the English-speaking world. Carol Shields died in July 2003 in Victoria after a long struggle with cancer.
"Her sentences and subjects swerve in a matter of words from the poetic to the colloquial, uniting the dazzling and the ordinary, the domestic and the cosmic."
—Joan Barfoot, London Free Press
"A shrewd and skillful storyteller."
"Carol Shields is a name to set beside Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro."