The Widow’s Children

The Widow’s Children

Paula Fox

A classic American novel from the author of ‘Borrowed Finery’.

On the eve of their trip to Africa, Laura Maldonada Clapper and her husband, Desmond, sit in a New York City hotel room, drinking scotch-and-sodas and awaiting the arrival of three guests: Clara, Laura’s timid daughter from a previous marriage; Carlos, Laura’s flamboyant brother; and Peter, a melancholy editor whom Laura hasn’t seen for over a year.

But what begins as a bon voyage party soon becomes a bitter, claustrophobic clash of family resentment. From the hotel room to the tiny restaurant to which the five embark, Laura presides over the escalating innuendo and hostility with imperial cruelty, for she is hiding the knowledge that her mother, the family matriarch, has died of a heart attack that morning.

Intense and unerringly observed, ‘The Widow’s Children’ is a tour de force from the incomparable Paula Fox.

Reviews of The Widow’s Children

    • ‘Unforgettable. Nowhere are the perils of family life more fully realised than in this disturbing, seething novel.’ TLS
    • ‘Subtle and brilliant, powerful and upsetting, it is also exhilarating in its insights. I am inspired by its rigorous intelligence, its elegant structure, its economy, and its passion…Paula Fox possesses wit, a deadly good ear and a prose style as sharp and precise as the bit of a drill.’ Andrea Barrett
    • ‘The most elegant exploration I have read of the chaos of modern life…There is something marvellously honorable in Fox’s novel.’ Nation
    • ‘Chekhovian…Every line of Fox’s story, every gesture of her characters, is alive and surprising.’ New York Times