Charlotte is a seventy-year-old woman who has taken to spying on a long-ago married lover from the privacy of his suburban hedge. Claudia is a seventy-year-old recent widow and mother of four grown daughters with a bad marriage behind her and a burdensome secret. The two, friends since childhood despite - or because of - their quite different lives, keep in touch with letters, phone calls, and finally a surprising confessional visit.
Ms Magazine (England): "Canadian author Joan Barfoot has been compared most favourably with fellow countrywoman Margaret Atwood, and this sharply observant narrative about two very different women friends evaluating their lives demonstrates why."
Canberra Times (Australia): "With humour and perspicacity, Joan Barfoot creates a portrait of two lifelong friends who still have surprising, even shocking things to learn about each other....A quietly compulsive read."
Toronto Star: "Joan Barfoot continues her impressive work as a novelist with a story about two very different women, friends over six decades...The pages are filled with shocks and discoveries and startling truths."
London Free Press: "This book is intelligent, mildly comical and rich in detail and convincing characterization. Its thoughtful look at the follies and comforts of female friendship and at the vagaries of marriage, motherhood, the single option and old age are unblinking and astringent, yet leavened with compassion and rare good humour."
Toronto Sun: "Canadian Joan Barfoot's new novel is amazingly good. It puts me in mind of the ruminative passages in Margaret Drabble or the quieter bits in Alice Munro, or most of all, the growing-old section of Carol Shields' The Stone Diaries...Barfoot knows exactly what she is trying to achieve here in her tidy, thoughtful, third-person stream-of-consciousness narration of the lives of two elderly women. She is trying to define the nature of love."
Georgia Straight: "As an ode to friendship, to secrets told and secrets kept, Charlotte and Claudia is both wry and revealing. In it, we meet two colourful, sympathetic characters struggling to maintain their dignity and passion."