Prospect Hill (novel) (London: Fourth Estate, 2003)
Costford, 1970. Trevor Morgan is a labour councillor with magical teeth and the political flair to get to the top. But his marriage is in crisis, and he seeks help from an unexpected quarter: doughty middle-aged May Rollins, a Tory councillor living with the demented mother she has always hated.
Strange things are happening to May: she sees a lollipop lady at eight o’clock on an August evening; her TV converts to colour of its own accord. She and Trevor are at odds over a controversial plan to build council flats at Prospect Hill, but their relationship nevertheless abruptly – and ambiguously – intensifies. Then we have Art Whiteside, the romantic estate agent, Wendy Hammond, who gave up teaching to become a waitress then gave up that to baby-sit her grandmother, and the silent and dangerous Fray Bentley, Town Hall bouncer and lover of Party Fours.
A novel about the relationship between public and private life, about mothers, wives, lovers, houses and households.
“Francis has a fine knack of giving voice to the voiceless.” Alfred Hickling, Guardian
“An extremely readable and very funny book. This is a world where everything is known, even the unexpected . . . it is reliable, warm, and inescapable.” Sean O’Brien, TLS