"A gem, a vintage narrative…a classic whose force as a piece of physical and moral map-making has not merely lasted but has actually improved in the passage of years."
'New York Times'
In the small East Anglian coastal town of Hardborough, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.
Hardborough quickly becomes a battleground – for Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done. As a result, she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but natural and even supernatural forces too. Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.
"Penelope Fitzgerald's resources of odd people are impressively rich. And this is not just a gallery of quirky still lives; these people appear in vignettes, wryly, even comically animated…A marvellously piercing fiction."
"Solid and satisfying. Every action in it matters, however small."