• "Above all... there is some quality that is a mixture of craft and integrity, compassion and the masterful effect of the unsaid, that raises this novel to a very high level indeed."

    Daily Telegraph
  • "I urge readers to obtain this new and very fine book... I cannot recommend it too highly."

    Financial Times
  • "It is a very long time since any book made me physically cry. But Stanley Middleton’s Valley of Decision did just that, twice… The story is simple. Mary is a talented opera singer, married to David, a musician, for three years. She is offered the chance to sing in America in an opera that might just lead to a major career. She takes it and falls in love with her producer. Anyone, well almost anyone, could write that story. But only Mr Middleton could turn it into something approaching a small masterpiece."

    Martyn Goff, Daily Telegraph
  • "Increasingly, Middleton’s command of the ordinary has become extraordinary, in laconic descriptions, and in unflinchingly facing moral imperatives which are always bedded in real, even humdrum, circumstances. And in this new novel the rigours and solaces of making music are cleverly (but uninsistently) counter-pointed with the human relationships that accompany them."

    Anthony Thwaite, Observer
  • "Both an achievement and a promise without limit"

    Andrew Sinclair, The Times