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Shortlisted for the Booker Prize.It is March 1913, and the grand old city of Moscow is stirring herself to meet the beginning of spring. Change is in the air, and where more so than at 22 Lipka Street, the home of English printer Frank Reid. One day Frank's wife Nellie takes the train back to England, with explanation, leaving him with their three young children. Into his life comes Lisa Ivavna, a country girl, untroubled to the point of seeming simple. But is she? And why has Frank's accountant Selwyn, gone to such lengths to bring them together? And who is the passionate Volodya, who breaks into the press at night?Frank sees, but only dimly, that he is a rational man in Moscow, a city where love, and friendship, power and politics, are at their most unfathomable.
Penelope Fitzgerald was the author of nine novels, three of which - The Bookshop, The Beginning of Spring and The Gate of Angels - were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She won the prize in 1979 for Offshore. A superb biographer and critic, she was also the author of lives of the artist Edward Burne-Jones, the poet Charlotte Mew and The Knox Brothers, a study of her remarkable family. She died in April 2000.