Elizabeth Taylor - Blaming - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781844083084
    • Publication date:06 Apr 2006
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Blaming

By Elizabeth Taylor

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Blaiming, Elizabeth Taylor's last novel, is a subtle novel about grief, guilt and compassion.

'How deeply I envy any reader coming to her for the first time!' Elizabeth Jane Howard

*

A finely nuanced exploration of responsibility, snobbery and culture clash from one of the twentieth century's finest novelists.

When Amy is suddenly left widowed and alone while on holiday in Istanbul, Martha, an American traveller, comforts her and accompanies her back to England. Upon their return, however, Amy is ungratefully reluctant to maintain their relationship, recognising that, under any other circumstances, the two women would not be friends. But guilt is a hard taskmaster, and Martha has away of getting under one's skin ...

*

'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' Elizabeth Bowen

'No writer has described the English middle classes with more gently devastating accuracy' Rebecca Abrams, Spectator

'A Game of Hide and Seek showcases much of what makes Taylor a great novelist: piercing insight, a keen wit and a genuine sense of feeling for her characters' Elizabeth Day, Guardian

Biographical Notes

Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975) is increasingly recognised as one of the best British writers of the twentieth century. She wrote her first book, At Mrs Lippincote's, during the war while her husband was in the Royal Air Force, and this was followed by eleven further novels and a children's book, Mossy Trotter. Her acclaimed short stories appeared in publications including Vogue, the New Yorker and Harper's Bazaar.

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  • ISBN: 9780748131020
  • Publication date: 07 Jul 2011
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Virago
How skilfully and with what peculiar exhilaration she negotiated the minefield of the human heart — Jonathan Keates, Spectator
Taylor has the genius of making her characters understood, sometimes with an almost frightening clarity, perhaps because she is compassionate as well as relentless in her delineation of them — New York Times
She's a magnificent and underrated mid-20th-century writer, the missing link between Jane Austen and John Updike — David Baddiel, Independent
Fleet

The Burning Girl

Claire Messud
Authors:
Claire Messud

A bracing and hypnotic portrait of the complexities of female friendship from the New York Times bestselling author of The Woman Upstairs.Julia Robinson and Cassie Burnes have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge: while Julia comes from a stable, happy, middle-class family, Cassie never knew her father, who died when she was an infant, and has an increasingly tempestuous relationship with her single mother, Bev. When Bev becomes involved with the mysterious Anders Shute, Cassie feels cruelly abandoned. Disturbed, angry and desperate for answers, she sets out on a journey that will put her own life in danger, and shatter her oldest friendship. Compact, compelling, and ferociously sad, The Burning Girl is at once a story about childhood, friendship and community, and a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about childhood and friendship. Claire Messud brilliantly mixes folklore and Bildungsroman, exploring the ways in which our made-up stories, and their consequences, become real.

Virago

Miss Bunting

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

Barsetshire in the war years. Miss Bunting, governess of choice to generations of Barsetshire aristocracy, has been coaxed out of retirement by Sir Robert and Lady Fielding to tutor their daughter Anne, delicate, sixteen years old, and totally lacking in confidence. When Anne makes friends with Heather Adams, the gauche daughter of a nouveau riche entrepreneur, her mother is appalled. Miss Bunting, however, shows an instinctive understanding of the younger generation - perhaps, having lost so many of her former pupils to the war, she is more sympathetic to their needs. She may be a part of the old social order, where everyone knows their place, but is wise enough to realise that the war has turned everything on its head and nothing will ever be the same again - even in rural Barsetshire.First published in 1945, Miss Bunting is a charming social comedy of village life during the Second World War.

Constable

Shadow of the Raven

Tessa Harris
Authors:
Tessa Harris

The 18th-century meets the sharp blade of forensic science...In the notorious mental hospital known as Bedlam, Dr. Thomas Silkstone seeks out a patient with whom he is on intimate terms. But he is unprepared for the state in which he finds Lady Lydia Farrell. Shocked into action, Thomas vows to help free Lydia by appealing to the custodian of her affairs, Mr. Nicholas Lupton. But when Silkstone arrives at the Boughton Estate to speak to Lupton, he finds that another form of madness has taken over the village...Sweeping changes to the Boughton Estate threaten to leave many villagers destitute. After a single shot rings out and a man dies in the woods, it appears that the desperate villagers have turned to murder to avenge their cause. But for Thomas, a post-mortem on the victim raises more questions than answers. Although he manages to save an innocent man from the gallows, a second murder warns him of his potentially fatal situation. Soon he discovers a conspiracy far more sinister than anything he has ever faced. But who it leads to is the last person he suspects...Praise for Tessa Harris:'A densely plotted yarn about a crafty 18th-century poisoner wreaking havoc on the Oxfordshire estate of a noble family . . . we await - indeed, demand - the sequel' New York Times Book Review'Harris' research is meticulous. The results are a historical CSI with a romance and excellent mystery' Romantic Times'Populated with real historical characters and admirably researched, Harris's novel features a complex and engrossing plot' Library Journal'The author will have you flipping the pages at each unexpected turn in the plot. The novel is an absorbing read with a shocking twist at the end' Historical Novel Society'Well-rounded characters, cleverly concealed evidence, and an assured prose style point to a long run for this historical series' Publishers Weekly Starred Review'The exceptionally strong historical background in this 1780s London-set novel makes it impossible to put down. With each book, the mysteries have become stronger . . . Silkstone is an admirable character and he captures readers' emotional interest' RT Book ReviewsThe Dr Thomas Silkstone Mysteries:The Anatomist's ApprenticeThe Dead Shall Not RestThe Devil's BreathThe Lazarus CurseShadow of the RavenSecrets in the Stones

Constable

Secrets in the Stones

Tessa Harris
Authors:
Tessa Harris
Abacus

Hangover Square

Patrick Hamilton
Authors:
Patrick Hamilton

The seventy-fifth anniversary edition, with a new introduction by Anthony Quinn.'I recommend Hamilton at every opportunity, because he was such a wonderful writer and yet is rather under-read today. All his novels are terrific' Sarah Waters'If you were looking to fly from Dickens to Martin Amis with just one overnight stop, then Hamilton is your man' Nick HornbyLondon, 1939, and in the grimy publands of Earls Court, George Harvey Bone is pursuing a helpless infatuation. Netta is cool, contemptuous and hopelessly desirable to George. George is adrift in a drunken hell, except in his 'dead' moments, when something goes click in his head and he realises, without a doubt, that he must kill her. In the darkly comic Hangover Square Patrick Hamilton brilliantly evokes a seedy, fog-bound world of saloon bars, lodging houses and boozing philosophers, immortalising the slang and conversational tone of a whole generation and capturing the premonitions of doom that pervaded London life in the months before the war.

Virago

People Who Knock on the Door

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

Before Lunch

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

Jack Middleton likes to imagine himself a country squire. At weekends he retires to Laverings Estate with his wife, Catherine. He may be pompous, and they may seem ill-matched, but the couple are devoted to each other.When Jack's widowed sister, Lilian, and her two stepchildren arrive to spend the summer in the neighbouring house, he dreads the intrusion to his idyll: Daphne, capable and ambitious, is too lively for his taste, whereas her brother Denis, a composer, he finds a crashing bore. But their wit and good sense charm the residents of Barchester, and they win over Lord Bond with an impromptu Gilbert and Sullivan evening. Even Jack begins to thaw.Before long, Daphne and Lord Bond's son become attracted to each other, but each believes the other is attached to someone else. Can disaster be averted before she marries the wrong man? First published in 1939, Before Lunch is a sparkling comedy from Angela Thirkell's much-loved classic series.

Virago

Northbridge Rectory

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

As the war continues it brings its own set of trials to the the village of Northbridge. Eight officers of the Barsetshire Regiment have been billeted at the rectory, and Mrs Villars, the Rector's wife, is finding the attentions of Lieutenant Holden (who doesn't seem to mind that she is married to his host) quite exhausting. The middle-aged ladies and gentlemen who undertake roof-spotting from the church tower are more concerned with their own lives than with any possible parachutist raids. There is the love triangle of Mr Downing, his redoubtable hostess Miss Pemberton and the hospitable Mrs Turner at the Hollies. And, to add to Mrs Villar's woes, egocentric, imperious Mrs Spender, the Major's wife, is foisted on the rectory when she is bombed out of her London home. First published in 1941, Northbridge Rectory is a captivating comedy of an English village in the War years.

Piatkus

Nearly Always

Ken McCoy
Authors:
Ken McCoy

Lucy Bailey is not a girl to take no for an answer. When she asks her friend Billy Wellington to help her rescue a stray dog, she has no idea of the potential repercussions. A serious crime is committed while Billy is absent from the children's home where he lives and, when suspicion falls on him, the police decide that the safest thing for everybody is to lock him away in a mental institution.Lucy refuses to believe that Billy has done anything wrong, and enlists her cool-headed teenage brother Arnold to help. DI Daniel Earnshawe, who has his own doubts about the police's conclusions, turns out to be unexpectedly helpful, and Billy has someone else on his side too: Helen Durkin, a beautiful, damaged girl who has been seeking to make amends for her past. With so many daring and resourceful people battling on his behalf, it looks as though Billy's freedom will soon be won - before an unexpected development sees Arnold too fall foul of the law. Refusing to give up hope of winning freedom for them, Lucy chases up the few remaining clues while Daniel and Helen resort to an alternative form of justice . . .

Constable

The Lazarus Curse

Tessa Harris
Authors:
Tessa Harris
Constable

Brighton Belle

Sara Sheridan
Authors:
Sara Sheridan
Virago

Small g: A Summer Idyll

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Completed just months before Patricia Highsmith's death in 1995, Small g explores the labyrinthine intricacies of passion, sexuality, and jealousy in a charming tale of love misdirected.'What is most remarkable in this novel is the empathy . . . with which Highsmith writes about gay men . . . one can imagine the small g existing, a piquant mixture of bohemianism and respectability, exactly as Highsmith describes it' Francis King, SpectatorAt the 'small g', a Zurich bar known for its not exclusively gay clientele, the lives of a small community are played out one summer.Rickie Markwalder is a designer whose lover Petey was brutally murdered. Rickie and his performing dog Lulu are regulars at the bar, as are vindictive Renate, a seamstress, and her teenage apprentice Luisa. Into their lives comes Teddie, impressionable and beautiful, and a catalyst for the series of events that will change everything.Patricia Highsmith's final novel is an intricate exploration of love and sexuality, the depths of spite and the triumph of human kindness. It is a work that, in the tradition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows us how bizarre and unpredictable love can be. Small g, in the words of her biographer Andrew Wilson, is an 'extended fairy tale suggesting that...happiness is precarious and...romance should be embraced.'

Virago

Found in the Street

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Uncomfortable, frightening, compulsive and, worst of all, terribly believable. It's vintage Highsmith' Time OutOn a stroll through Greenwich Village, security guard Ralph Linderman finds a wallet on the sidewalk. It belongs to Jack Sutherland, a wealthy aspiring artist, and it is his misfortune to have it returned to him - with all $263 and credit cards untouched. Because now Ralph knows where Jack lives.Elsie Tyler is a beautiful young waitress - an innocent in New York - and Ralph feels he must protect her from 'bad company'. When he sees Elsie leaving Jack's apartment, he is not pleased. Not pleased at all.By the author of The Talented Mr Ripley, Found in the Street is an unsettling thriller that explores the bleakest alleyways of human desire.

Virago

A Dog's Ransom

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Highsmith is a giant of the genre. The original, the best, the gloriously twisted Queen of Suspense' Mark Billingham'Dear Sir, I suppose you are pretty pleased with yourself? Superior to everyone, you think. A fancy apartment and a snob dog. You are a disgusting little machine, nothing else. Your days are numbered.'Ed Reynolds, an editor at a prestigious publishing house, has received a number of anonymous poison pen letters. He has no idea who could bear him such a grudge. Returning home one night, he finds a ransom note for his wife's beloved French poodle: 'I have your dog Lisa. She is well and happy . . . I gather the dog is important to you? We'll see!' The criminal has hit the Manhattan couple where it hurts most. And so, with this bizarre event, their nightmare begins. A Dog's Ransom captures the fragility of middle-class life in this riveting, scathing tale.

Virago

A Game for the Living

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'I love Highsmith so much . . . What a revelation her writing is' Gillian Flynn'Ramón had done it. Obviously! He thought about Ramón, his Catholic soul trapped in his passion for Lelia. He'd find Ramón and see that he paid with his life for what he had done.'In A Game for the Living threads of sexual jealousy and guilt are shot through with all Patricia Highsmith's uncanny talent for the unexpected.Mild-mannered Theo is a wealthy German expatriate; hot-tempered Ramón was born into poverty in Mexico City. The two men are unlikely friends - especially as they are in love with the same woman. When Lelia is found brutally murdered, both lovers are suspects - and each suspects the other. But then they discover that a thief was seen at Lelia's apartment, and their hunt leads them on a frantic chase to sun-drenched Acapulco. Theo begins to get the uneasy feeling that his every move is being watched.

Virago

The Fox at the Manger

P. L. Travers
Authors:
P. L. Travers
Virago

Don't Look Now And Other Stories

Daphne Du Maurier
Authors:
Daphne Du Maurier
Virago

The Last of the Wine

Mary Renault
Authors:
Mary Renault
Virago

Vanishing Cornwall

Daphne Du Maurier
Authors:
Daphne Du Maurier
Virago

A View Of The Harbour

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor