Article published on February 9, 2016.
This novel brings together the lives and feelings of seven very different women, who are bound together by their experiences of breast cancer. The characters are all different and are introduced succinctly and convincingly. Each is dealing, in her own way, with trauma and pain, and while their thoughts and actions are not always admirable, they are above all human. As usual Margaret Forster writes insightfully and with great warmth.
Despite the topic, it is not only a book about cancer. It asks ‘Is there anything you want?’ and that question applies to all its readers. Ultimately it is about how we cope with difficulty.
Overall, although I found it (of course) well written and the people in it appealing, this is not my favourite Forster book. The number of characters can be confusing and it felt a bit rambling at times. However, these are small criticisms of a book that is well worth reading.