Staff Pick: Irene on The Dark Flood Rises by Margaret Drabble

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We meet Fran Stubbs, a seventy something woman who is “…already too old to die young and too old to avoid bunions and arthritis, moles and blebs, weakening writs, incipient but not yet treatable cataracts, and encroaching weariness.” This novel is a very skilled mediation on old age but Fran is feisty and continues to enjoy her job with a charitable trust that involves driving to various sites of sheltered housing for the elderly throughout England.

This low-key story with well-drawn characters has its share of tragedy and humour, with a few surprises along the way. The book title was drawn from a D.H. Lawrence poem - “Love on the Farm”.