The Travels of Maudie Tipstaff, by Margaret Forster

Maudie Tipstaff, finding herself alone after many years of marriage, decides that she's going to visit each of her three grown-up children, spending four months with each one.

Quite a gentle story. Maudie is rather set in her ways, and quite intolerant of those who don't fall in with her. In fact she's pretty difficult to live with, and the book suggests, although we never quite find out for certain, that this is why she's no longer with her husband. The three children lead very different lives: the first daughter is very middle-class and concerned about keeping up appearances; the second is - well, not bothered at all about appearances, and the third child is a man who lives a fairly hermitic life on the island of Comino, near Malta.

Each of the visits brings its own set of problems, and Maudie's complaints are variously a cause of great concern or completely ignored. All of this is described very well, and the people all seem very real, even though they're all so different.

Quite a nice book to pass the time, although nothing fantastic. What I did like was the way that you never found out, even at the end, exactly what happened to Maudie's husband.

Completed : 28-Nov-2008 (audiobook)

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