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Synopsis

The comforts and terrors of middle-class provincial life have seldom been more sharply dissected than by Stanley Middleton, and his new novel adds to this social insight a new poignancy. As ageing slowly entwines John Stone, retired headmaster at Beechnall, his wife Peg and their various friends and relatives, and as past certainties recede, the solid, decent world of provincial life with its satisfactions and occasional minor adulteries gives way to new threats - some external, in the changing society around them, some internal. The question of how to live the good life, always near the centre of Middleton's novels, confronts the inhabitants of this quiet street of Victorian villas and is answered in surprising and disturbing ways.

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