From Publishers Weekly
Meet the Joneses—a suburban London family you could never keep up with at the pub. Excessive drinking is a way of life for several of them, including the brilliant pianist son, his dour, newly widowed uncle, and eventually Aldous, who could be called the family patriarch if this motley collection of people, bound by genetics and affection, had a strong traditional structure. But this lyrical novel, set in 1970s England and a finalist for the Booker Prize, reveals just how untethered to each other individuals living under the same roof can become. The mother, Colette, is the heroine, a woman not without weaknesses herself, who tries vainly to care for her brother and to believe the best of her son. Woodward resists any temptation to aggrandize Colette, and, indeed, all the characters are portrayed plainly, but in a matter-of-fact style that leaves their motivations murky. No doubt plenty of families like the Joneses exist, but the reader's expectation of some redemption and evolution can't be ignored. The steady downward slide of a family, even one as finely sketched as this one, doesn't make for uplifting reading. (Sept.)
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Far above the ordinary. Woodward's characters are wonderfully complex and rich. -- London Telegraph
The narrative is mind-bogglingly crisp, resourceful and sometimes hilarious
.Remarkable. -- Sunday Times [London]