Teenager Eleanor studies hard at school and dreams of escape from a rural upbringing in the West Country by going to university. Then she falls in love… with her mother's new female friend.
Mothers and Other Lovers won the Betty Trask award
Praise for "Mother & Other Lovers"
"This powerful, original and uncomfortable novel […] gives admirable attention to plot, pace and psychology. Vivid with acrimony, the novel is unusual in that it allows us to see what the mother, as well as the daughter, is feeling. Silly, weak and ill-educated, Paula is pitifully defenceless against her daughter's barbs. We believe and care that they become reconciled."
- Amanda Craig, Independent
"Joanna Briscoe handles the more risky conflation of sexual and family love with admirable assurance"
- Jonathan Coe, Mail on Sunday
"…a vibrant first novel."
-Independent on Sunday
"arresting and intimidating... Feverishly written…"
- Anita Brookner, Spectator
"excellent first novel... vivid and fluent … a splintered, evocative, tender portrayal of the passion and contempt in the mother-daughter bond."
"Perceptive, funny and passionate."
- Sunday Times
"A fresh and funny portrait.... genuine feeling and gentle wit."
"It's wonderful! I literally couldn't put it down... I think Joanna Briscoe is a poet; I think her language is marvellous."
- Ian McMillan, A Good Read, BBC Radio 4