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  • Bennett's masterpiece... There are few more moving accounts of the effects of time, the passage of history and the slow encroachment of age than this remarkable, epic novel

  • It's not just a wonderful story; it's also an expressionist masterpiece, almost surreal at times. It's also an amazing feat of empathy... It's also very intimate, and highly emotional. In fact, it's the perfect novel

    Deborah Moggach, Independent
  • Arguably the finest novel written by an Englishman in the 20th century

    Daily Telegraph
  • Arnold Bennett did write one indisputable masterpiece, The Old Wives' Tale, and that is where I recommend you start... Each time I'm in the midst of reading it, I think it the best novel ever written

    Wendy Lesser, New York Times
  • For Bennett...compassion is not soggy. It involves understanding. The core of his writing is psychological truth, clinically observed, crisply reported

    Sunday Times

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