IoS readers can obtain the book at the special price of pounds 13.99 p&p free (normal price is pounds 16.99) by calling the order line 01206 255800, quoting the reference "Independent on Sunday Precious Lives offer").
Precious Lives (extracted last week in the Sunday Review) is the follow up to Margaret Forster's recent, very well received memoir Hidden Lives, which charted the lives of two generations of the women in Carlisle in her "ordinary" working class family. In Precious Lives, published by Chatto, a figure who played a small but significant role in the early memoir takes centre stage. It focuses on the long life - 96 years - of Forster's father, Arthur, the indomitable patriarch of the family. Intertwined with this is the story of Marion Davies, Forster's sister-in-law, who died of cancer at almost half the age of Arthur. A personal and moving book written with the same attention to domestic and emotional detail as her earlier memoir, Precious Lives is a testament the tenacity of the human spirit; a story about two lives and deaths enlivened with wit and compassion.