A beautiful, very moving, melancholic and elegiac novel set in the late 1960s in Melton, a small town in the West Country. The story revolves around a disparate group of people who come together there to establish an arts festival. There is Jack Curtis a self-made millionaire who has bought and refurbished the local stately home, Florence Plover, a garden designer in her sixties whom he has employed and her Anglo-Greek niece, Persephone. There are the Musgrove siblings, Thomas and Mary, whose family originally owned Melton Hall, who run a failing garden nursery nearby and there is Francis Brock, whose sister Celia, Thomas' wife, was tragically killed in a car crash some years previously. This is the story of their intertwining relationships and how they come to love, and not to love each other in different ways and why - a perfect book to curl up and read by the fireside on an autumn afternoon and as satisfying a read as Brief Encounter is a film.
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Praise for Elizabeth Jane Howard’s previous novels
‘She is one of those novelists who shows, through her work, what the novel is for... She helps us to do the necessary thing - open our eyes and our hearts’
‘She has afine feminine sensibility, and we come to know those lovely, untidy girls, those elegant but wretched wives and widows, in detail that is as true as it is poignant’
‘A dazzling historical reconstruction... much more than most novelists, she is interested in the quality of happiness’
‘This fine saga gets stronger with each passing page... one of the literary classics’
‘A charming, poignant and quite irresistible novel, to be cherished and shared’
‘A family saga of the best kind... a must’
TatlerAbout the Author:
Elizabeth Jane Howard is the author of thirteen highly acclaimed novels, most recently Falling in 1999. The Cazalet Chronicles - Casting Off, The Light Years, Marking Time and Confusion - have become established as modern classics and were adapted for a BBC television series in 2001. In 2002 Macmillan published her autobiography, Slipstream, and she was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
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