Graham Joyce directs his immense storytelling gifts in an
altogether new direction and achieves the most ambitious
and psychologically captivating work of his career. As he
chronicles the story of the Vine family, the prize-winning
author of Smoking Poppy and Indigo invests a bygone era
with great authenticity and powerful atmosphere.
Set during and immediately after World War II, The Facts of
Life follows the fortunes of Frank Arthur Vine, the result
of a tryst between his mother Cassie and an American GI.
Because Cassie is too unreliable and unstable to act as his
proper guardian, Frank is brought up alternately by his
mother's six very different sisters -- each singularly
idiosyncratic -- and by his beguiling and charismatic
But, as his mother knows, and his grandmother strongly
suspects, Frank is no ordinary child.
The Facts of Life takes place in Coventry, in the English
Midlands, the notorious target of Hitler's fiercest bombing
raid and, some nine centuries earlier, the scene of the
infamous Lady Godiva's naked ride through the marketplace.
Peopled with entrancing characters, it is an enormously
affecting tale of family and sisterhood, of the kindness
and the madness of women, of the fantastic breaking through
in a troubled world.