Unlike most books that I read, where I love the beginning but don't care much for the middle and the end, this book was the exact opposite. After slogging through the beginning and the middle, I loved the end! The recurring thought in my head while reading about these characters was "would you just grow up".
When sweet, healthy, hearty Holly Fox dies suddenly in childbirth, the Surrey village whose pearl she is reverberates with shock. She leaves behind her a helpless, silent husband and tiny newborn Faith. Everyone assumes Holly's loving and capable mother, Thomasina, will look after Faith, but when she deserts her newborn grandchild, the baby must be packed off to her father's peculiar family in the North--'the very strangest people you every saw, my dear." With wisdom, generosity and understanding, Jane Gardam takes to heart this eccentric tale. This book sheds a clear, true light on the pain of bereavement while always offering the joyous possibility of a new beginning. The characters are quite eccentric and entertaining.