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  • Published: 31 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446443750
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

Precious Lives




An intimate, true and wonderful memoir about living and dying

A brilliant follow-up to Hidden Lives, Margaret Forster's most personal book yet takes up the story of her gritty, northern father, Arthur, intertwined with that of her sister-in-law, Marion, who died of cancer at almost half the age of the 96 year-old Arthur.

Margaret Forster's father was not a man to answer questions - least of all questions about life and death, so she attempts to answer them for herself. As Forster looks back at Arthur's life and indomitable character, she evokes incidents from her childhood, his working life and stubborn old age, trying to make sense of their largely unspoken relationship, and of his tenacious hold on life, and on his family.

Arthur and Marion's lives were ordinary, and apparently unremarkable, but, when faced with death, lives like these become strangely precious.

  • Published: 31 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446443750
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

About the author

Margaret Forster

Born in Carlisle, Margaret Forster was the author of many successful and acclaimed novels, including Have the Men Had Enough?, Lady's Maid, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, IsThere Anything You Want?, Keeping the World Away, Over and The Unknown Bridesmaid. She also wrote bestselling memoirs – Hidden Lives, Precious Lives and, most recently, My Life in Houses – and biographies. She was married to writer and journalist Hunter Davies and lived in London and the Lake District. She died in February 2016, just before her last novel, How to Measure a Cow, was published.

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Praise for Precious Lives

I have great admiration for Margaret Forster's ability to fashion absorbing tales of family life from the most ordinary people in Precious Lives... Her insistence on validating the domestic, combined with her meticulous eye and painstaking research, creates a past which reveals modest lives with all their awkwardnesses and painful secrets.

Irish Times

Margaret Forster's books hold you in their grip and linger in the mind long after being put down...Precious Lives is unputdownable... A remarkably courageous book which we should read, inwardly digest and, above all, enjoy

Mary Wesley, Daily Express

Forster is a terrific writer, witty and compassionate... [Precious Lives] manages to be completely honest wihout compromising the delicacy of its subjects: it is moving and funny too

Cressida Connolly, Spectator

"Dying is an art," wrote Sylvia Plath. Writing about dying is also an art, one which Margaret Forster possesses in no small measure... [She] pursues her purpose with such flair that she succeeds, once again, in riveting her reader... Precious Lives adds up to an exemplary tribute to two striking individuals

Patricia Craig, Independent

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