The Facts of Life

Graham Joyce

The Facts of Life is an engrossing page-turner that tells the story of the working class Vine family following World War II. It is both a family drama and a social commentary spiced with the esoteric. At the center of Joyce’s story is young Frank, the illegitimate son of Cassie Vine. Through Frank’s experiences, the reader is introduced to the seven Vine sisters. The sisters are charming, quirky and deeply flawed, and the reader can’t help but be intrigued by their maladies and antics. And yet the most charming of the Vines is Martha, the tough, resilient and kind-hearted matriarch. Although haunted by ghosts, the very sensible Martha is constantly being called upon to guide her family away from troubles and sadness. From beginning to end, Joyce’s book is enthralling, and the Vines are well worth meeting.