She was born in Leicester, England, and graduated in politics from University of Warwick. She currently lives in County Durham, England. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded an OBE in 2003. She was married to the philosopher Kit Fine.
Her books for older children include the award winning The Tulip Touch and Goggle-Eyes, which was adapted for television by writer Deborah Moggach for the BBC. Twentieth Century Fox filmed her satirical novel Alias Madame Doubtfire as Mrs. Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams. Her books for younger children include Bill's New Frock and How to Write Really Badly. Her work has been translated into 27 languages.
Nobody has ever treated Ian Laidlow in a natural way. Disfigured by hideous facial scars he had never been treated with anything other than distant courtesy. But then Alicia Davie, a careless, ignorant young student breaks this pattern by laughing in his face. Alicia goes on to infiltrate the hidden man, going through the face he presents to the world, through his scar patch, to discover the hidden man, never realising that she is playing with fire...
A glorious tirade against the grind of motherhood. Lilith Coal lives in an Eden, a paradise that enchanted the childhoods of her children. Now if any one of them dares to defy her in the smallest matter, she destroys yet another part of the garden and of their childhood. Enter an archangel, Miguel-Angel Arqueso Algaron Perez de Vega, under whose spell the downtrodden Barbara dares to defy her mother. When Williams lover Casper weighs in in his subtle way the fate of the Colletts and their garden are finally and unexpectedly sealed.
A philosopher spends his summer with his children, his ex-wife and his ex-gardner (his ex-wife's new husband) to write his autobiography. His notes are interspersed with his wife's side of the story, and though philosophy was always easier for Oliver than real life, real life is about to come crashing down around him.