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Dauntless Liza Jarrett, born at the dawn of the twentieth century, is w in her eighties, frail and facing eviction with her cantankerous parrot Nelson, when she is visited by Stephen, a young gay social worker. As she learns to trust him, she recalls her life - her embittered, exhausted mother, her shell-shocked spiritualist husband, her beloved son and chaotic daugter. Their friendship, deepening with the unfolding of their stories, comes to sustain Liza through her last battle and brings new courage to Stephen.
Pat Barker was born in 1943. She was chosen in 1983 as one of the twenty 'Best of Young British' novelists and won the Booker Prize with The Ghost Road in 1995. She lives in Durham.