Nora and Dora, the 'famous' Chance sisters, prepare to go to their perennially absent father's 100th birthday party. With a wide and colourful, often rather crazy cast, the story veers off in a multitude of directions as Dora's reminiscent narrative slips from past to present suddenly and seamlessly throughout. The illegitimate 'bastard' Chance twins are the black sheep of the family. The all-singing, all-dancing, sweary, aging, make-up caked, high-heeled, bawdy, gritty and overall magnetic Chance twins, that is.
"Unique vaudeville world and engaging reader"
King Leontes of Sicilia is seized by sudden and terrible jealousy of his wife Hermione, whom he accuses of adultery. He believes the child Hermione is bearing was fathered by his friend Polixenes, and when the baby girl is born he orders her to be taken to some wild place and left to die. Though Hermione's child escapes death, Leontes' cruelty has terrible consequences. Loss paves the way for reunion, and life and hope are born out of desolation and despair.
"Exit, pursued by a bear!"
King John of England is pitted against the united powers of France, Brittany, Austria, and the Papacy. Will England be destroyed by his fatal indecision? As alliances are made, broken, and remade, the paranoid and erratic John reveals his weakness and reliance on those around him - including his powerful mother, Queen Elinor, and Faulconbridge, the cynical and witty bastard son of the dead King Richard I.
"Good production of an inept play"
As Maggie Tulliver approaches maturity she enters into conflict with family and community over her desire for self-fulfillment. Eliot's exploration of Maggie's dilemma makes this novel as relevant today as it was in the 19th century.
Spanning nearly half a century, The Old Wives Tale is epic in scale and scope, tracing as it does the effects of time on two sisters and their surroundings. The novel is a domestic story told with tenderness, and is concerned not with heroic statesmen or soldiers, but with small details of daily life in a way which demonstrates Bennett’s great debt to French realist writers. The action is concentrated mainly within the provincial town of Bursley, a startling contrast to Paris where Sophia and Gerald elope.