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Lillian on life - Alison Jean Lester

9781848549548
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Title
Lillian on life
Author
Alison Jean Lester
format
Hardback
Publisher
John Murray
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20150129

'I absolutely loved it. A delight . . . so fresh and clever and subversive' Kate Atkinson

'I completely loved Lillian on Life. What a great voice, what energy and wit . . . very original and often extremely funny' Karen Joy Fowler

Lillian, a single, well-travelled woman of a certain age, wakes up next to her married lover and looks back at her life. It's not at all the life she expected.

Walking the unpaved road between traditional and modern options for women, Lillian has grappled with parental disappointment, society's expectations and the vagaries of love and sex. As a narrator she's bold and witty, and her reflections - from 'On Getting to Sex' to 'On the Importance of Big Pockets' or 'On Leaving in Order to Stay' - reverberate originally and unpredictably.

In Lillian on Life, Alison Jean Lester has created a brutally honest portrait of a woman living through the post-war decades of change in Munich, Paris, London and New York. Her story resonates with the glamour and energy of those cities. Charming, sometimes heartbreaking, never a stereotype, Lillian is completely herself; her view of the world is unique. You won't soon forget her.

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Alison Jean Lester was born to an American father and a British mother, and educated in the US, the UK, China and Italy. She spent twenty-five years working, writing and raising her children in Japan and Singapore before relocating to the UK in 2016. She is the author of the novel Lillian on Life and has had short stories published in Ecotone, Good Housekeeping, Synaesthesia and Barrelhouse.

I absolutely loved it.
A delight . . . so fresh and clever and subversive
Kate Atkinson, author of Life After Life

A beautifully written, deft debut; edgy, elegant Lillian will stay with you
Adele Parks

I completely loved Lillian on Life. What a great voice, what energy and wit . . . very original and often extremely funny
Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

A delicious, sweet-sad debut novel
Sainsbury's Magazine

A dazzling first novel . . . In short vignettes, Lillian looks back, drawing an impressionistic portrait of a bold life full of adventure - erotic and otherwise - in prose spiked with unflinching observations, riotous riffs and poignant reflections
Washington Post

From the moment I caught sight of the book cover I was hooked . . . I read Lillian on Life in one sitting, very swiftly as though she were telling me her stories and giving me advice. I might have raced through it, but I know I'll read it again
The Mitford Society

A bold and witty narrator . . . impossible to put down
Image

It's rare that you find a book that's so easy to read yet so difficult to forget, but this debut novel will stay with you and have you questioning your own love life for weeks after finishing it . . . Think Sex and the City meets Rona Jaffe's 1958 novel The Best of Everything
Stylist

[Lillian on Life is] written in a strangely companionable style, like you were sharing a night of secrets and girl chat with an old friend. It felt at once both familiar and surprising and kept me reading on to find out all the fascinating things that Lillian had done in her life. Lester has created a likeable heroine and an enjoyable story
lisatalksabout.com

I will be recommending Lillian to many other women of my acquaintance. Her passion, achievements and self-effacing observations have the potential to entertain and inspire us all
Never Imitate

The snapshots build into a witty, candid account of those little dilemmas that the average woman meets every day - except that Lillian is far from average. In fact, I wish we could have lunch
Saga

Try not to fall in love with Lillian, Alison Jean Lester's vivacious, funny and charming heroine in this excellent debut novel . . . A gorgeous read, at moments heartbreaking, often joyful and mostly unforgettable
Red

I'll never forget Lillian on Life. Looking backward, she's brutally honest about her needs, her lovers, her parents. Salinger could have invented her . . . Roth would have loved her . . . and so will you. A rare book, a little raunchy, but very rich and very real
Ilene Beckerman, author of Love, Loss and What I Wore

What emerges is a voice so quirky and candid, a story so rich in telling detail, that it is easy to forget this is a novel, not a memoir. I wish Lillian were real and could do lunch - she'd be a hoot
Lady

Lillian on Life is a quirky book with a very deep heart and soul. I found it full of life and full of wisdom
Erica Jong

In this remarkably mature first novel, Alison Jean Lester has channeled the worldly yet wistful elegance of Colette to portray an unforgettable heroine. Lillian's provocative reflections on love, vanity, sexual intimacy, and surviving as an independent woman over half a century are deeply moving
Julia Glass, author of Three Junes and The Widower's Tale

What a splendid book! By turns acerbic and warm, urbane and homespun, Lillian on Life is - like its protagonist - charming, funny, and unabashedly smart. But as slender and enjoyable as this book is, it's much more than simply a lark. Each elegantly compressed chapter leaves us luxuriating in thought: about the snippets of experience so vividly depicted, and about those that have been, with perfect art, left out
Leah Hager Cohen

Type
BOOK
Edition
Hardback original
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
240

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