(British, 1936– )
North, who was born in Hampshire, did not begin writing until she had been married and had four children. Her novels deal with family, relationships, and the larger groupings which bind and divide us. Start with Worldly Goods (1987) set in the late 1950s, about the wedding between a southerner and a northerner. With sly humour North explores the snobberies, hypocrisies, and desires which operate between the various members of the wedding-party. Ancient Enemies (1984) is narrated by teenager Petra, about her life and the joys and horrors of growing up. Enough Blue Sky (1977) is a funny, moving, and dramatic account of an admiral's wife travelling to Gibraltar with her children at the outbreak of war, a story based on North's own childhood.
Jane Gardam, Penelope Fitzgerald JR