Claudia Hampton is writing a history of the world, and of herself, but only in her head. Lying in a hospital bed, she is visited by memories of a rich and vivid life, beginning with scrambling up a cliff on a Dorset beach as a child in 1920. Narcissistic to the core, she seems to prefer her dreams to the flesh-and-blood characters who sit intermittently at her bedside: her daughter, Lisa; Jasper, her former partner and Lisa’s father; Laszlo, her semi-adopted Hungarian son. But the only two people she’s ever loved are dead: her brother, Gordon, and Tom, the soldier she met when she was a journalist in Cairo during the Second World War.
First published in 1987, Moon Tiger won the Booker Prize that year, although I didn’t get around to reading it until last month. If you’d like to meet more fictional women of substance, including one of my own, click on the image for a selection of free e-books I’m sharing in my newsletter today: