The Facts of Life

The Facts of Life

by Patrick Gale
Three generations of a British family struggle through war, intolerance, infidelity, and illness in this “extraordinary blockbuster” (Time Out London).

In the Roundel, an odd, secluded, eight-sided house in the English countryside, Edward Pepper and Sally Banks build a life. Hoping they’ve left hardship behind—they met when Sally, a doctor, treated Edward for tuberculosis after he escaped from Nazi Germany to England—they raise a family together. The German-Jewish composer has his devoted wife’s support—though he is sidetracked by the temptations of the movie industry.

But for Edward and Sally, their children, and their children’s children, tragedy and joy will always go hand-in-hand, as they maneuver through a world of often bitter and brutal realities. And as the decades pass, a family shaped in equal measure by love and human failing will find itself sorely tested by mistrust, tyranny, misunderstanding, and an AIDS diagnosis. It will take more than the strength they found in their wartime romance to fight the battles of everyday life.

The critically acclaimed novels of Patrick Gale have been compared to the writings of literary giants from Iris Murdoch to Gabriel García Márquez. Powerful, moving, and magnificent, this multigenerational family saga is one of Gale’s most compassionate and memorable works, a truly masterful fiction that Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City, calls “achingly true and beautiful.”

COMMUNITY REVIEWS