Mothering Sunday - Graham Swift; | Foyles Bookstore
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Mothering Sunday
Foyalty 27

Mothering Sunday (Paperback)

Usually despatched within 2 days.


Now a major film starring Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Odessa Young and Josh O'Connor (The Crown), scripted by Alice Birch (Normal People)

'Exquisite . . . Mothering Sunday shows love, lust and ordinary decency straining against the bars of an unjust English caste system' Kazuo Ishiguro

It is March 30th 1924. It is Mothering Sunday.

How will Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, occupy her time when she has no mother to visit? How, shaped by the events of this never to be forgotten day, will her future unfold?

Beginning with an intimate assignation and opening to embrace decades, Mothering Sunday has at its heart both the story of a life and the life that stories can magically contain. Constantly surprising, joyously sensual and deeply moving, it is Graham Swift at his thrilling best.

Praise for Mothering Sunday:

'Mothering Sunday is a powerful, philosophical and exquisitely observed novel about the lives we lead, and the parallel lives - the parallel stories - we can never know ... It may just be Swift's best novel yet' The Observer

'Dazzling . . . a vanished world is resurrected with superb immediacy . . . wonderfully accomplished' Sunday Times

'Stunning . . . It is about the most perfect novel you could wish to read' The Guardian

'From start to finish Swift's is a novel of stylish brilliance and quiet narrative verve . . . Swift is a writer at the very top of his game' Evening Standard

From the Booker-winning author of Last Orders and Waterland comes a long-awaited new novel. 'Mothering Sunday is bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes, it blazes irresistibly... Swift's small fiction feels like a masterpiece' The Guardian

'Mastery and resonance . . . It's one of the novel's great strengths to be able to shift with such agility between focus scene and lifetime recollection . . . the languid, blissful minutes of March 30, 1924 seem to contain all the succeeding decades' Times Literary Supplement

'A dazzling read: sexy, stylish, subversive' Herald Scotland

'A jewel of a book, a subtle, erotically charged novella suspended between past and future' Hermione Lee

'A work of gold from the subtle pen of the great Graham Swift' Le Monde

'With this novel he captures what it means to be alive' Der Spiegel

'An exquisite novella of love and loss . . . a short yet powerful and intricately layered work . . . every sentence counting and not a word out of place' The Australian

Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd Publication Date: 09/03/2017 ISBN-13: 9781471155246  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Usually despatched within 2 days. Add to Basket

Graham Swift was born in 1949 and is the author of eleven novels,two collections of short stories, including the highly acclaimed England and Other Stories, and of Making an Elephant, a book of essays, portraits, poetry and reflections on his life in writing. His most recent novel, Mothering Sunday, became an international bestseller and won The Hawthornden Prize for best work of imaginative literature. With Waterland he won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and with Last Orders the Booker Prize. Both novels were made into films. His work has appeared in over thirty languages.

More books by Graham Swift

Customer Reviews

This short book, novella, romance, call it what you will, on one level is long enough for one idea. Jane Fairchild is a servant who has been having an affair with Paul Sheringham. This Mothering Sunday is to be their last meeting, certainly for this illicit purpose, as Paul is to get married within weeks. So far, so simple. Certainly a nice simple idea for 149 pages. Regrets, yes, the ending of a relationship, certainly. This short book on the surface is a short farewell to a sort of love. The really impressive thing about this book soon becomes obvious. The title indicates that Jane is benefitting from a tradition of servants having Mothering Sunday, this day in March, free to return to their families, their mothers. Jane is an orphan, a foundling, without any family or even clue to a real name. This fact continues into a discussion of what she should do, her friendly even fatherly employer, the bicycle he provides, the books she can borrow, and all the many layers of contributory factors to a situation just as complex as many a full length novel. That is what is so fascinating about this book; it is just like real life in that no significant event happens in a vacuum, its causes, implications and impact come from so many sources, affect so many people, change so many lives. Paul is in some senses the special son, as he has survived. This story is set in 1924, when the generation lost in the war is still a vivid memory, bedrooms still hold the everyday possessions of the dead, and servants are a disappearing breed. Jane is surprised at her summons to a house left empty as parents, servants and everyone has gone. Her opposite number as a maid, Ethel, is imagined as she will clear the room, pick up clothes, possibly wonder what Paul actually did in this fine spring morning. Even while the small events of the morning and early afternoon are happening, Jane imagines what will take place, the effects on the rest of her life. Her movement round the house is weighted with thoughts of what has happened to her so far, and thoughts to a future without Paul. This book suggests what it is to be a writer, the watching of light, people, objects. The balancing of influences of family, or lack of one, creating a name, a background. Imagining what people will do, how they will react, what they will do in unforeseen circumstances. From early in the book we are told that Jane will survive, live a long life, become a significant writer. In one day, in this Mothering Sunday, her life’s pattern is discussed. This book is a little obvious in its descriptions, and conceals nothing in any sense. I read it with fascination as it almost hypnotises with its detailed observations and Jane’s processing of what is happening. It is short, but packs in so much in a deceptively small “Tale”. It is unique in what it suggests and achieves within this format, and deserves to be read.

- 20/04/2017
Report this Review
Leave Review

Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.


Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
Free UK Standard Delivery on Orders Over £25 (2nd Class)     3-5 Days
UK Standard Delivery (2nd Class) £2.99 £0.00 3-5 Days
UK 1st Class Delivery £3.99 £0.00 2-3 Days

Click & Collect / 
Delivery to a Foyles Bookshop


Free Free Click and Collect and Delivery to Store is available for all our shops. Collection times will vary depending on availability of items. Individual despatch times for each item will be given at checkout.
Please wait for order arrival confirmation email before making a journey to collect.
UK Courier* £7.95 £0.00 1 Working Day
Western Europe**Airmail £9.00 £1.00 7-8 Days
Rest of World Airmail*** £12.50 £1.00 7-10 Days

* For courier service please contact the Charing Cross Road store

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

*** We are currently unable to delivery to the following countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ghana, Iraq, Lebanon, Macao, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Virgin Island US

For goods delivered outside of the UK, the consignee (ie the person to whom the consignment is sent) will be the declarant and importer into the country for which the consignment is destined. The consignee will be responsible for both customs clearance and payment of customs duties and local taxes where required.

Customs Charges - if you are ordering goods for delivery outside of the UK, please note that your consignment may be subject to VAT (Value Added Tax), other taxes, customs duties and/or fees levied by the destination country. Any such charges levied in relation to customs clearance must be borne by you. It is accepted by you that Foyles has no control over additional charges in relation to customs clearance. Foyles recommend that you check with your local customs officials or post office for more information regarding importation taxes/duties that may be applicable to your online order.

Delivery Help & FAQs

A Year of Books Subscription Packages 

Delivery is free for the UK. Western Europe costs £60 for each 12 month subscription package purchased. For the Rest of the World the cost is £100 for each package purchased. All delivery costs are charged in advance at time of purchase. For more information please visit the A Year of Books page.

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

My Name Is Lucy Barton: From the...
Elizabeth Strout
The Tobacconist
Robert Seethaler; Charlotte Collins
Days Without End
Sebastian Barry
One Good Turn: (Jackson Brodie)
Kate Atkinson
© W&G Foyle Ltd