The great-granddaughter of the poet Alice Meynell, Bernardine Bishop was the youngest witness in the Lady Chatterley trial in 1960. After writing two early novels, she taught in a London comprehensive school for ten years and then had a distinguished career as a psychotherapist, during which she brought up her two sons. Cancer forced her retirement in 2010 and she returned to her first love, fiction. Bernardine Bishop lived in London with her husband, until her death in July 2013.
Lovely, surprising... filled with life and optimism and a wicked sense of comedy... deeply satisfying. - The TimesUnexpected and exciting - Daily MailPraise for Unexpected Lessons in Love:This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in years. I found it completely gripping. The carefully but unobstrusively structured plot (involving adoption, DNA and paternity) is domestic but with a wide reach; it is played out against a backdrop of world events. On reflection, I have never before read a book which confronts a serious and almost unmentionable illness with such lightness of touch. It's happy and it's cheering, with a beautiful warmth to it, achieved without a moment of sentimentality. I loved it.It's impossible to recommend the late Bernardine Bishop's wondrous book too highly - GuardianBishop treats a fearful subject with an extraordinary lightness of touch; her humour and her emotional wisdom make this a delightful and humane novel - The TimesThis novel, wise, sharp and startlingly frank, distils a lifetime of reflection on the rules of attraction, affection - and family life. From confused youth to the ordeals and confusions of old age, her wry insights delight - IndependentA wonderful novel, one of those rare books which leaves the reader with a deeper understanding of the human heart . . . This is an author of exceptional intelligence, subtlety and warmth. Expect to hear the name Bernardine Bishop when the lists for the Costa and Man Booker prizes are compiled later this year - SpectatorThis novel should appeal to Joanna Trollope fans . . . Bishop is a fine, intelligent writer, capable of handling moral and philosophical themes with a light touch - Sunday Telegraph