Francesca Segal’s second novel is exuberant and entertainingby Matthew Adams / July 20, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal (Chatto & Windus, £14.99)
Francesca Segal’s exuberant and entertaining second novel is concerned with the nature of filial and parental responsibility. It addresses this question by telling the stories of four characters who, when the story opens, form two familial units that are attempting to become one. Julia Alden is a widow who lives in north London with her teenage daughter, Gwen. James Fuller is an attractive American doctor who has a teenage son by the name of Nathan.
James and Julia have recently embarked on a relationship. Julia feels that James is “all she’d never dared to want” and has invited her new love and his son to share the family home. His arrival, she feels, might transform her calamitous life. But Gwen and Nathan have other ideas. They have difficulty accepting the new parental figures in their lives, and subject one another to endless quarrels and needling.