Wilfred Davis, quiet, retired, respectable widower, is sitting and sobbing on a park bench. He has lost his daughter and any sense of purpose. A mysterious stranger passes him a handkerchief, and strikes up a conversation that leads to friendship and an unconventional new home for Wilfred.
Mary Davis wants only four things out of life: a husband and three children, so at seventeen she runs away from school, her father and her home and moves to London to find them. Only a few months later Mary is engaged, but love and marriage promise to be very different from her childhood daydreams.
For Mary and Wilfred, it seems Fate has taken a hand, or is there another kind of guiding spirit at play?
Stella Gibbons' final novel, written in the 1970s but only discovered many years after her death, is published here for the first time.
Fans of the acclaimed British author, described as the “Jane Austen of the 20th century” will be delighted that the existence of two never-before-published novels have been revealed by her daughter
Gibbons was an acute and witty observer, and her dissection of the British class system is spot-on
Gibbons portrays her heroine with such sensitivity that this young woman and her story prove impossible to resist
Told with characteristic wit
It might not be snowing yet, and you may have to work until the 24th, but you can still get into the festive spirit early with our selection of favourite Christmas-related reads.