I thought that this was one of Drabble's best novels and found it highly enjoyable - it is the first in a trilogy of novels, including A Natural Curiosity and The Gates of Ivory. This novel was the best of the three of them!
I have enjoyed other books by Drabble, but this one is a clunker. It is the first book of a trilogy and begins at a New Year's Eve party for 200 people given by a wealthy couple. The party is described in infinite detail and some humor, and then we read about the previous lives of three women and their families. I wanted to like the book, but I gave up on page 168, feeling glad that it wasn't required reading for some course. After reading a review, I see that I missed reading about a serial killer and a trip to Cambodia.
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