My mother has her 89th birthday coming up soon, and I thought I'd get her a few of these. Can anyone suggest any titles which they've enjoyed?
Aternatively is there anything else that might be suitable? she tends to read stuff like A S Byatt, Margaret Drabble, Iris Murdoch, David Lodge She likes biographies (not modern though, usually about writers or scientists, e.g Virginia Woolf, Marie Curie). Or a science based novel maybe (she's a biologist, she's read stuff like the Selfish Gene etc.)
''Hilary Wainwright, poet and intellectual, returns after the war to a blasted and impoverished France in order to trace a child lost five years before. The novel asks: is the child really his? And does he want him? These are questions you can take to be as metaphorical as you wish: the novel works perfectly well as straight narrative. It's extraordinarily gripping: it has the page-turning compulsion of a thriller while at the same time being written with perfect clarity and precision.'
'The Winds of Heaven' by Monica Dickens is good too, but not in the same league.
Thank you all, in the end I didn't have time to buy online and waterstones had limited choice, but I bought Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, which I think she'll enjoy, and I'm noting down all your other suggestions for future gifts. The ones you suggest sound right up her street Colonel. I'm definitely going to get her the Marghanita Laski one at some point too.
She's read quite a lot of Barbara Comyns, and some Monica Dickens - and enjoyed them, if anyone else is looking for recommendations.
I assume she read Barbara Comyns in Virago Modern Classics editions, unless she acquired them when they were first published in the 1950s and reread them later (which is totally possible). I understand that Virago plan to reprint some Comyns next year.
They've just reprinted lots of Winifred Holtby, notably South Riding but others too.
Another small series of reprints is Bloomsbury's Bloomsbury Group books.