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Penelope Lively

All her life Stella had considered herself a bird of passage. As an anthropologist she studied social networks - in the villages of the Nile Delta, Greece and Malta, and the community of an Orkney island. She’s known love, but she remains alone, by choice and by chance. Now retired, she has decided to buy a home in Somerset. Stella finds life in the West Country as subtle and elaborate a social system as any other she has encountered. The hamlet that is now her home proves itself deceptive - an apparently tranquil backwater where the tensions within a dysfunctional family build to a destructive climax.

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