The British author of An Episode of Sparrows, she is also known for works such as The Greengage Summer and In This House of Brede. Several of her novels were adapted into films.
Her father worked for a shipping company, and she and her three sisters spent a large portion of their childhood in British Colonial India.
She converted to Catholicism in 1968. Several of her literary works, including Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy, deal with religious themes.
She had an unhappy marriage to Laurence Foster, with whom she had two daughters. Later in her life, she married James Haynes Dixon.
Her 1946 novel, The River, was made into a 1951 film directed by Jean Renoir .