A successful playwright, painter, and novelist confronts his mortality and the past during a major life crisis in this novel by Man Booker Prize–winning author David Storey
Richard Fenchurch has had a long and successful career as a playwright, painter, and novelist. But at age 65, he is coming apart at the seams. Fearing he will do something drastic if he remains alone, Fenchurch’s married daughter, Harriet, takes charge of his life. She moves her father from his squalid London apartment to his ancestral mansion, where he courted his 1st wife—Harriet’s mother, Bea—whom he met at a Christmas dance. Home again, with ghosts all around, Fenchurch journeys back in time while struggling to maintain his freedom and sanity.
Past and present seamlessly intersect through the rich landscape of memory as Fenchurch begins to ruminate on his passionate affair 35 years earlier with his mother-in-law. In spite of their nearly 30-year age difference, the beautiful, exotic Isabella became the enduring love of his life. He relives his other romantic relationships as well, and through it all is plagued by self-doubt, depression, and guilt about how he has fared as a husband, a father, a friend, and a lover.
Both a witty, spot-on portrayal of the indignities of age and an ardent evocation of youthful love, A Serious Man is above all a story about family.