Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King: A rich and involving collection

Book review: Hope and hard-earned lessons from the author of Writers & Lovers

Motifs in Lily King’s fiction include infidelity, divorces, drunk or absentee parents, and the resilience of those who survive the turmoil

Motifs in Lily King’s fiction include infidelity, divorces, drunk or absentee parents, and the resilience of those who survive the turmoil

Lily King’s most recent novel, Writers & Lovers, was a New York Times bestseller and a critical success, bringing this underrated American writer to the attention of the masses on both sides of the Atlantic. Its fine qualities – a wry and moving exploration of writing and relationships – are in abundance in her first collection of short stories. Thematically similar, and written in the same stylish, limpid prose, the 10 stories offer raw yet hopeful depictions of the common man.

The range of characters across Five Tuesdays in Winter is impressive. There’s a cantankerous nonagenarian visiting his granddaughter in hospital. A widowed mother in Germany trying to get herself and her teenage daughter through their grief. A 14-year-old from an unhappy home who becomes a live-in babysitter for a rich family over the course of a hot, lethargic summer.

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