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December 14, 2020 at 12:23 pm #4857Virginia AmmermanGuest
by Elizabeth Jane Howard
- Format: paperback, 422 pages
- Language: english
- Publisher: MacMillan General Books
- Author: Elizabeth Jane Howard
- Genres: fiction
- ISBN: 9780330368896 (0330368893)
- Release date: May 1, 2000
About The Book
To the delight of her many readers, Elizabeth Jane Howard has been producing prose of a subtlety, intelligence and feeling that has rarely faltered during the 50 years she has been writing. She is able to successfully straddle the disparate worlds of the popular and literary novel and this new book is among her most accomplished. Choosing a cynical and compromised first-person narrator, Howard introduces us to Henry Kent — a man looking for a woman — — preferably one with a little money.
Henry, in late middle age, is living without means on a dank houseboat. Getting by on his charm is no longer feasible and when writer Daisy Langrish buys a cottage close by, he sets his sights on her. But those around Daisy — — her agent, her daughter — begin to ask questions about him. And the revelations they uncover have them very worried indeed.
With a tone reminiscent of William Trevor, this is Howard at her most psychologically perceptive: her subject here is nothing less than an ambitious exploration of love, dealing in a dispassionate way with both the joys and the dangers. She demonstrates that the need to be first in someone’s affections is a seductive but risky business and her powerful rendering of human emotion has the same scalpel-like precision as The Cazalet Chronicle. Many regard the latter as Howard’s finest book, but this new volume is likely to change perceptions. Henry is fascinatingly characterised (we are allowed a nicely ambiguous attitude to him) and the slow but assured unwinding of the narrative grips with memorable force. — Barry Forshaw
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