Hardcover Publisher (UK): Duckworth
“When Etta’s husband dies (the least complicated event of his life) and Etta is left struggling with loneliness and panic attacks, she decides to visit her only living relative, her mother’s sister, M, who has been out of touch with the family for many years. But Aunt M turns out to be silent and bedridden – largely ignored by the housekeeper who administers to her and by her own immediate family on the grounds that she’s old and not really there any more. In its way, this is the story of a quest – Etta’s quest to wake up the real person trapped inside the unspeaking figure in the bed, even though she has to fight her way past the dreadful Mrs Cullen, and M’s blustering son and tight-lipped daughter-in-law to do so.”
Allen is marvellously fluent and unforced, she weaves an unseamed garment. Her story flows and it flows irresistibly. Her craftsmanship is unobtrusive, and impeccable.
– Sunday Telegraph
…the clarity and charity of December Flower is an island of quiet hard-won certainties.
– The Guardian