Cover image for A woman's life
A woman's life
Billington, Rachel.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Orion, 2002.
Physical Description:
368 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Connie is the youngest member of a large Irish family and Ireland¿s too small to contain her. She is beautiful and impulsive. Men love her, while she roars through life, never looking before she leaps - sometimes onto rocks. Nina is English and middleclass, the shy, thoughtful, daughter of an army officer. She marries her boyhood love and has two children before realising how unfulfilled she is, and that painting is her true passion. Fay is American and Jewish, the granddaughter of a holocaust survivor. She¿s the ambitious one, who fulfils her dream of becoming a doctor before admitting a darker, more complex side to her nature. Three women, born at the outbreak of World War II, who¿ve grown up in widely differing circumstances, form an improbable friendship that sustains them through forty years of love, marriage, children, work, divorce and tragedy, against the backdrop of a society undergoing dramatic change at every level, especially for women.

Author Notes

Rachel Billington has published twenty novels and nine books for children, as well as several non-fiction works. She is also a regular journalist, feature writer and reviewer. She is co-editor of Inside Time, the national newspaper for prisoners and a Vice-President of English PEN. She has four children and five grandchildren and lives in London and Dorset.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Conventional wisdom says you can pick your friends but not your family, but is this really true? Do we indeed have the power to rationally select those people with whom we choose to share life's most profound moments, or do we merely fall victim to circumstance, continuing relationships as much out of convenience as affection? Billington ponders such weighty matters through her portraits of Connie, Fay, and Nina, women thrown together through an unlikely confluence of events, yet who develop a friendship that spans 40 years, bridges two continents, and survives war and devastation, marriage and divorce, births and deaths. As the historical events of the period--the Vietnam War, the dawn of feminism, the conflict in Northern Ireland--impinge upon their individual lives, their friendships are equally affected by both internal and external influences. From Fay's stoicism to Connie's narcissism to Nina's introspection, Billington explores how and why friendships survive in a compelling study of one of life's most sustaining bonds. --Carol Haggas Copyright 2003 Booklist