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Is There Anything You Want? by Margaret Forster

Is There Anything You Want?

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The novel explores the experiences of a diverse group of women whose lives have all been changed by breast cancer

If you like Margaret Forster you might also like to read books by Maureen Duffy, Linda Grant and Margaret Drabble.


Is There Anything You Want? by Margaret Forster

What do Mrs H., Rachel, Edwina, Ida, Sarah, Dot, Chrissie have in common? They're all women, but they're fat, thin, old, young, professional, incompetent - and appear as diverse as human nature can be. But they are all survivors. This compelling novel follows the ripples that go out into ordinary lives, women's lives in particular, which have been scarred and changed by a shared experience, all connected by the same hospital clinic in a small Northern town. This is a novel about what it means to live in the shadow of disease and with its scars, whether mental and physical, looking back over one's shoulder while trying to go forward. You can trip up or, if you're careful, you might make it.... At its heart is a strong, difficult but finally vulnerable, old woman. Mrs H. is generous and helpful to a (sometimes comical) fault, and lives alone with a secret that she tells no one but that finally explains everything..Her niece is a young doctor who can't take the strain, and who wants something different from life. Alongside them are the other walking wounded, getting on with their lives: Ida, once beautiful and now hiding her scars under layers of fat; tiny Dot who is stronger than she seems; Edwina, a mother who lives vicariously through others, even her wild daughter; Rachel, who finds almost too late what it's like to soar above the crowd; and not to mention the men in their lives. From the marvellous ambivalence of the title question, it leaves us with a whole lot more to consider about life and its infinite variety.

About the Author

Margaret Forster

Born in Carlisle, Margaret Forster is the author of many successful and acclaimed novels, including Have the Men Had Enough?, Lady's Maid, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, Is There Anything You Want?, Keeping the World Away, and Over, bestselling memoirs (Hidden Lives and Precious Lives) and biographies. She died in February 2016.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th January 2005


Margaret Forster

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