Rediscover a classic gem in this sparkling and satirical tale of a groups of friends maybe a little too close by Pamela Hansford Johnson.
'A very cool and intelligent writer' TLS
Described by the New York Times upon her death as 'one of Britain's best-known novelists', plunge yourself into the wry world of Pamela Hansford Johnson in this story of seduction and marriage, perfect for fans of Elizabeth Jane Howard and Barbara Pym.
Christine Hall, a mother in her late thirties, is on holiday on the south coast of England when she bumps into an old friend: Celia Baird, staying with her parents at the Moray hotel. Celia - eccentric, impulsive - is one of tangled group of friends who have Christine at their core. There's architect Eric Aveling (who happens to be having an affair with Celia); his wife, terminally ill Lois; and Junius Evans, Eric's business partner.
When death affects a shift in the dynamics of the group, none of them expect the final outcome.
Duty, guilt, secrecy, loneliness: the hidden side of marriage is uncovered as choices are thrust upon the characters.
Praise for Pamela Hansford Johnson:
'Witty, satirical and deftly malicious' Anthony Burgess
'A remarkable craftswoman' A.S. Byatt
'Hansford Johnson at her wittiest is Waugh mingled with Malcolm Bradbury Ruth Rendell
'A writer whose memory fully deserves to be kept alive' Jonathan Coe
Pamela Hansford Johnson was born in 1912. As a novelist, she gained recognition with her first novel, This Bed Thy Centre, published in 1935. She then went on to write 26 more novels throughout her life, ranging in genre from romantic and high comedy to tragedy, and the psychological study of cruelty, with themes centred around the moral responsibility of the individual in their personal and social relations. She was also a well-respected critic, a leading Proustian scholar, an essayist, a playwright, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a CBE. She died in 1981.