'Like a condemned man, ageing focuses the mind. ' “A wonderfully observed story about Irene who, in the twilight of her life, finds herself surrounded not only by her children and grandchildren but also by their personal crises and uncertainties. Mapstone’s detailing of the tensions between Irene’s failing body and her healthy recalcitrant mind which insists on maintaining her independence and her dignity, is one of the highlights of this absorbing read. A remarkably accomplished, wholly absorbing portrayal of family, the love and tensions that bind them, and ultimately, an old woman’s gracious retreat from life. The Porcupine's Dilemma is not only about ageing and dying, but also about life: the gift of offspring and perpetuity through those who come after.” Jacob Ross, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature "Great story line that should appeal to the 'sandwich generation', those taking care of both children and parents while having their own mid-life crisis. Gentle and moving, with dialogue that is totally natural and believable. Wonderful writing." Cherry Mosteshar, The Oxford Editors.