The Facts of Life by

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ISBN: 0753818426

I’ve read a few books now by Joyce, and this has to be my favourite so far. Set during, and just after the London Blitz of WWI, this book tells the story of Cassie, her family, and her son Frank.

We first meet Cassie as she is about to give up her child to another family. She has already had a daughter who was taken in by a childless couple. But as she watches the minutes tick by, she decides to keep her son. Arriving home to her family she tells them all she is keeping Frank. Her mother, Martha, decides that maybe there is something special about Frank, so she agrees, provided the six other daughters help out with raising Frank.

As a result we see the lies of this family through Frank’s eyes as he moves from sister to sister, from farmlife to the almost pristine house of his twin aunts, to a commune. It soon becomes clear that Frank has inherited some of his mother’s feyness and some of his grandmother’s ability to talk to the dead.

There is some wonderful writing in this book, when Frank tries to imitate his pregnant Aunt peeing for example. Comic touches can be found everywhere, as can potential threats to Frank and the family.

I really enjoyed this one

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