Barbara Anderson

Change of Heart

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Published 2003

Oliver Gurth Perkins is 75, and the darkest cloud on his horizon is that the local bookshop no longer stocks collected volumes of the Times cryptic crosswords. He has an easy companionship with his wife; his dental practice is undemanding; his son is a decent enough sort; and his granddaughter who comes for the school holidays is a delight. But when a minor heart episode convinces Oliver that it’s time to put a little more time into the lives of those close to him, further shocks are in store …

Change of Heart
 traces Olly’s passage from the desolation of his first realisation that Hester is quite happy with the way things are and has no desire for more intimate communication with him, to his happy embrace of an extended family life.

Change of Heart is a glittering jewel of a book, an audacious mixture of comic invention and sensitive human insight that is Barbara Anderson at her very best.

‘She is a novelist of great talent, well qualified to write black comedy. But she has, too, the comprehension of human incomprehension, the pity for human pity, that makes it possible to write tragedy.’
—Penelope Fitzgerald

Praise for Change of Heart
‘This is Barbara Anderson really on her game … The plot is beautifully handled, with enough twists to maintain pace without seeming ludicrous. Anderson somehow manages to imbue the plot with the conviction that reality really is stranger than fiction, and combines a series of bizarre coincidences and miscommunications into an entirely believable situation. Anderson compassionately trains her magnifying glass on human behaviour and gently illuminates the potential in us all to change and grow. The ending is satisfyingly bizarre, and it was with regret that I put the book down.’
—Laura Keddell, The Press

‘This novel could perhaps be accused of being quite slight. But it is also a delightful book which can be guaranteed to make you forget much of the weariness of daily life.’
—Peter Wells, NZ Herald

‘The book's Dickensian denouement, involving love, marriage and inheritance, could seem too poundingly big-hearted, but Anderson manages it with considerable aplomb. A skilful mixer of comedy and compassion, she clears the blocked arteries of preconception in her readers as well as in her protagonist.’
—David Grylls, Sunday Times (UK)


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