“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”*

*Leo Tolstoy, in “Anna Karenina” (1878)

Hephzibah Anderson opened her review of If Only I Could Tell You in The Guardian of 26.2.19 with:

“If there’s one group of professionals more indebted to the unhappy family than psychiatrists, it’s novelists.”

It’s a very favourable review, making me want to read the novel – “Without the padding of extraneous scene-setting, her psychological acuity becomes all the more winding” – and its author Hannah Beckerman has as her pinned Tweet: “All your writing life – amidst the anxiety & neuroses & failures – you hope for a glowing review on @GuardianBooks.

Today, that wish came true.

Thank-you @HephzibahA for a review I *might* just have to frame & put on the wall in my study.”

I’ve also enjoyed reading about Beckerman’s walk along “The Holborn route” with Peter Ackroyd for the Financial Times of 25.4.14:

“…We’re making relatively slow progress so far. Ackroyd recently tore a ligament in his leg which makes walking fast – or long distances – painful: a cruel trick of nature for someone who loves pounding the streets of the city.

“My hobby was always walking. That’s what I did most of. Experiencing the sensation and the atmosphere of it and getting the pavement underneath your feet is very good therapy.”

I wonder whether such therapy is necessary when you’re producing as many words a year as Ackroyd.”

I’m still pondering that last sentence.

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