By Elizabeth Jolley. Had no idea what this was about before reading it. It's very literary (hence the lecture theatre named after Jolley at my university), very lyrical writing. Nothing like what I expected. I am fascinated to find out what era the story is written in, as I couldn't easily pick it from the story - the themes are quite modern (it was published in 1980), but it feels like it was set in the 50s or 60s.