`Family life is Mortimer's subject . . . she picks it apart with precise, swift, sharp strokes.' -- Lucy Scholes, Paris Review
First published in 1960, Penelope Mortimer's only collection of short stories lays bare the fury and despair that lurk beneath the surface of everyday domestic life.
A mother and her young son arrive at a rental house in rural France only to find themselves locked out; a fractious family of five try and get through a Saturday at home together; a publisher with a penchant for parties reconnects with an old acquaintance who's the life and soul; and a woman in a maternity ward is an unwitting witness to a disturbing drama behind the hospital curtains next to her.
Sharp, unsettling, and darkly humorous, Saturday Lunch with the Brownings is fiction drawn from life that unerringly captures the complexities and cruelties of family dynamics.
`No one knows better how to catalogue in easy narrative the minutiae of domestic life or how to undermine domestic life's apparent security.' -- Sunday Times
`I can't think of a writer more attentive to emotional weather.' -- Rachel Cooke, Observer
`Devastating on domestic atrophy, flawed people, feminine rage that can barely find its words but she shows it somehow anyway, warring couples, gloom and glamour. Aggressively perfect.' -- @jessieburton
`Mortimer peels several layers of skin off the subjects of motherhood, marriage, and monogamy.' -- Nick Hornby