The Facts of Life - Graham Joyce

World Fantasy Award: Best Novel winner (2003).

Winner of the 2003 World Fantasy Award Graham Joyce chronicles a haunting,war-torn terrain in this heartrending novel of one family's quest to begin again – without forgetting the lives they left behind.

The Facts of Life

Set in Coventry, England, during and immediately after World War II, The Facts of Life revolves around the early years of Frank Arthur Vine, the illegitimate son of young, free-spirited Cassie and an American GI. Because Cassie is too unreliable and unstable to act as his proper guardian – and is prone to "blue" periods in which she wanders off without warning or recollection – Frank is brought up in the care of his strong-willed, stout-drinking grandmother, Martha Vine, who has, among other homemaking talents, the untoward ability to communicate with the dead.

So begins the first decade of Frank's life, one in which ghosts have a place at the table and divine order dictates the outcome of his days. Along the way there are brief stays with each of his six eccentric aunts, visits to the local mortuary, and voices inside of his own head that suggest that he, too, has the gift of supernatural intuition. An affecting tale of family and history, war and peace, love and madness, The Facts of Life will leave readers spellbound with its resounding expression of magic realism.

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Release date: 2002
Genres: magical realism
Tags: world fantasy award
Updated: August 18, 2021