Cleo Lafay seeks purpose and significance in her life. Her search takes her from London to a remote part of rth-west England. Here, she finds herself in close contact with many disparate people, all seeking, like Cleo, meaning and purpose, or in some cases escape from despair. The central narrative concerns Cleo's friendship with two very different men. There develops a struggle between reason and intuition. For Cleo, this is a struggle for survival. Joyce Muriel's roots are in Ireland. She was the first person from her family background to attend university, attending Oxford. She has taught English and Drama, supporting six children and a sick husband. Now, in later life, she has turned to fiction. RIPENESS IS ALL tackles directly the problems of men and women in the final decade of the century.