Edith Wharton - The Reef - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Books in this series

The Reef

By Edith Wharton

  • Paperback
  • £16.00

Anna Leath is a young widow, an American living in France. Behind her lies an arid marriage and a life deeply influenced by the rigid code of Old New York. Ahead lies new hope: a chance encounter in London with George Darrow, the first love of her youth, has left her awakened, disturbed. Anna returns to her beautiful country chateau to await her future: between two short distances can anything happen to disrupt such promise? But the charming Sophie Viner, governess to Anna's young daughter, holds the key to a secret which comes to reveal that Anna's future - and the very foundation of her life - is fragile where it appears most strong.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780860683728
  • Publication date: 07 Jul 1983
  • Page count: 368
  • Imprint: Virago
A complex, subtle and moving story of the ways in which people torment one another and the awful power of retrospective jealousy — PENELOPE LIVELY
Abacus

Twopence Coloured

Patrick Hamilton
Authors:
Patrick Hamilton

'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 HornbyWest Kensington - grey area of rot, and caretaking, and cat-slinking basements. West Kensington - drab asylum for the driven and cast-off genteel!' Patrick Hamilton was acutely conscious that his third novel (first published in 1928) was longer and 'much grimmer' than his previous and well-received productions. Twopence Coloured is the story of nineteen-year-old Jackie Mortimer, who leaves Hove in search of a life on the London stage, only to become entangled in 'provincial theatre' and complex affairs of the heart with two brothers, Richard and Charles Gissing. The novel, unavailable for many years, is a gimlet-eyed portrait of the theatrical vocation, and fully exhibits Hamilton's celebrated gift for conjuring London - the 'vast, thronged, unknown, hooting, electric-lit, dark-rumbling metropolis.

Virago

The Seventh Cross

Anna Seghers
Authors:
Anna Seghers

A rediscovered German classic novel from 1942, never before published in the UK, The Seventh Cross is both a gripping escape story and a powerful novel of resistance. 'At once a suspenseful manhunt story and a knowing portrait of the perils of ordinary life in Hitler's Germany, The Seventh Cross is not only an important novel, but an important historical document. This new, unabridged translation is a genuine publishing event' JOSEPH KANON, author of The Good German and Leaving Berlin'A masterpiece. Written in the midst of terror, but with such clarity, such acuity; Seghers is a writer of rare insight' Rachel Seiffert, author of A Boy in WinterSeven prisoners escape from Westhofen concentration camp. Seven crosses are erected in the grounds and the commandant vows to capture the fugitives within a week. Six men are caught quickly, but George Heisler slips through his pursuers' fingers and it becomes a matter of pride to track him down, at whatever cost.Who can George trust? Who will betray him? The years of fear have changed those he knew best: his brother is now an SS officer; his lover turns him away. Hunted, injured and desperate, time is running out for George, and whoever is caught aiding his escape will pay with their life.The Seventh Cross powerfully documents the insidious rise of a fascist regime - the seething paranoia, the sudden arrests, the silence and fear.'A fascinating insight into life in pre-war Nazi Germany just as the horrors of the Nazi regime were beginning to unfold. This is an important novel, as much for its picture of German society as for its insight into the psyche of ordinary people confronting their personal fears and mixed loyalties' Simon Mawer, author of The Glass Room'It was [Seghers] who taught my generation and anyone who had an ear to listen after that not-to-be-forgotten war to distinguish right from wrong. The Seventh Cross shaped me; it sharpened my vision' - Gunter GrassThe Seventh Cross was written by one of the most important German writers of the twentieth century. Her aim was to write, 'A tale that makes it possible to get to know the many layers of fascist Germany through the fortunes of a single man.' She had four copies of the manuscript: one was destroyed in an air raid; a friend lost the second copy while fleeing the Nazis; another was found by the Gestapo; only the fourth copy survived, which, fortunately, she sent to her publisher in America just before she escaped Nazi-occupied France. Published in 1942, The Seventh Cross was an immediate bestseller and was the basis for an MGM film starring Spencer Tracy in 1944. It has been translated into more than 40 languages.

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

August Folly

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

It's August in the Barsetshire village of Worsted, and Richard Tebben, just down from Oxford, is contemplating the gloomy prospect of a long summer in the parental home. But the numerous and impossibly glamorous Dean family - exquisite Rachel, her capable husband and six of their nine brilliant children - have come for the holidays, and their hostess Mrs Palmer plans to rope everyone into performing in her disastrous annual play. Surrounded by the irrepressible Deans, Richard and his sister Margaret cannot help but have their minds broadened, spirits raised and hearts smitten.

Virago

The Charioteer

Mary Renault
Authors:
Mary Renault

'The Charioteer remains compelling both as a snapshot of a particular - and particularly fascinating - cultural moment, and as a deeply romantic story of love fulfilled against the odds. It has all those qualities that make Mary Renault so memorable as a novelist: craft, subtlety, intelligence, and a terrific natural sympathy with the intricacies of honour and desire' SARAH WATERS'An explosive and courageous book' SIMON RUSSELL BEALEFirst published in 1953, The Charioteer is a tender, intelligent coming-of-age novel and a bold, unapologetic portrayal of homosexuality that stands with Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar and James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room as a landmark work in gay literature.Injured at Dunkirk, Laurie Odell, a young corporal, is recovering at a rural veterans' hospital. There he meets Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly, and the men find solace in their covert friendship. Then Ralph Lanyon appears, a mentor from Laurie's schooldays. Through him, Laurie is drawn into a tight-knit circle of gay men for whom liaisons are fleeting and he is forced to choose between the ideals of a perfect friendship and the pleasures of experience.'Emotionally intelligent, beautifully written and deeply moving, it transcends categorisations' Telegraph

Virago

Poor Cow

Nell Dunn
Authors:
Nell Dunn

Joy - also called Blossom, Sunshine and Blondie by the men in her life - walks down Fulham Broadway carrying her week-old baby, Jonny. She is twenty-one, with bleached hair, high suede shoes, and a head full of dreams. Her husband Tom is a thief and on the proceeds of a job they move to a luxury flat - 'the world was our oyster and we chose Ruislip'. Then Tom is sent to prison, leaving Joy and Jonny to move in with Auntie Emm. This is Joy's story: an exuberant, pink-lipsticked, tale of London life, love and young motherhood in the sixties...

Virago

The True Heart

Sylvia Townsend Warner
Authors:
Sylvia Townsend Warner

This is the love story of Sukey Bond and Eric Seaborn.Sukey is an orphan, in service, the lowest of the low. It is 1873, and in her first position as a servant girl on a farm in the Essex Marshes, she meets Eric- gentle, simple, a 'holy fool.' The lovers are parted by Eric's rich mother, ashamed of her idiot son. But nothing can deter Sukey. Only Queen Victoria, she feels, can help, so she sets off to see her. Extraordinary things happen on this heroic journey, but Sukey's simple love and courage carry her to final victory- reunion with her beloved Eric and love triumphant.For it is love itself which is the subject of this deceptively simple novel, and it appears in many guises, transforming THE TRUE HEART into a sophisticated exploration- and more, a celebration- of the human heart. First published in 1929, it shows Sylvia Townsend Warner, a novelist of extraordinary freshness, sensitivity and imagination, at the peak of her powers.

Hachette Audio

Of Mice And Men

John Steinbeck
Authors:
John Steinbeck

Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they'll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesn't know his own strength, and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the boss's daughter-in-law. Trouble so bad that even his protector George may not be able to save him ...

Virago

The Wedding Group

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

First published in 1968, this quietly ironic exploration of the ways in which the parental mould is not easily broken, is one of Elizabeth Taylor's most ambitious novels.You know,' Midge began, and paused. She was rather taken aback, and could not at once think of anything to say. 'Perhaps there's nothing so dangerous as having led a sheltered life.'Cressy has grown up in a world of women, presided over by her eccentric, artistic grandfather Harry Bretton. Rebelling against the wholesome, organic values of her home life, Cressy decides to leave home in search of more ephemeral pleasures. Taking a job in an antiques shop, she meets David, a self-satisfied journalist, also looking for means of fleeing the family nest. But as Cressy cannot fend for herself and David is securely tied to his mother's apron strings, this act of escape for both of them proves a powerful form of bondage.

Virago

Memento Mori

Muriel Spark
Authors:
Muriel Spark

Unforgettably astounding and a joy to read, Memento Mori is considered by many to be the greatest novel by the wizardly Dame Muriel Spark. In late 1950s London, something uncanny besets a group of elderly friends: an insinuating voice on the telephone informs each, "Remember you must die." Their geriatric feathers are soon thoroughly ruffled by these seemingly supernatural phone calls, and in the resulting flurry many old secrets are dusted off. Beneath the once decorous surface of their lives, unsavories like blackmail and adultery are now to be glimpsed. As spooky as it is witty, poignant and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more.

Virago

A Game Of Hide And Seek

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' - Elizabeth Bowen, author of The Heat of the DayIntelligent and haunting, with echoes of Brief Encounter, this is a love story by one of the best British writers of the 20th century.During summer games of hide and seek Harriet falls in love with Vesey and his elusive, teasing ways. When he goes to Oxford she cherishes his photograph and waits for a letter that never comes.Years pass and Harriet stifles her dreams; with a husband and daughter, she excels at respectability. But then Vesey reappears and her marriage seems to melt away. Harriet is older, it is much too late, but she is still in love with him.

Virago

Nightingale Wood

Stella Gibbons
Authors:
Stella Gibbons

Life is not quite a fairytale for poor Viola. Left penniless, the young widow is forced to live with her late husband's family in a joyless old house. There's Mr Wither, a tyrannical old miser, Mrs Wither, who thinks Viola is just a common shop girl, and two unlovely sisters-in-law, one of whom is in love with the chauffeur. Only the prospect of the charity ball can raise Viola's spirits - especially as Victor Spring, the local prince charming, will be there. But Victor's intentions towards our Cinderella are, in short, not quite honourable . . .

Virago

The Yellow Wallpaper And Selected Writings

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Authors:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

It is stripped off - the paper - in great patches . . . The colour is repellent . . . In the places where it isn't faded and where the sun is just so - I can see a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about . . .'Based on the author's own experiences, 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is the chilling tale of a woman driven to the brink of insanity by the 'rest cure' prescribed after the birth of her child. Isolated in a crumbling colonial mansion, in a room with bars on the windows, the tortuous pattern of the yellow wallpaper winds its way into the recesses of her mind.Charlotte Perkins Gilman was America's leading feminist intellectual of the early twentieth century. In addition to her masterpiece 'The Yellow Wallpaper', this new edition includes a selection of her best short fiction and extracts from her autobiography.

Virago

The Judge

Rebecca West
Authors:
Rebecca West
Virago

Sunflower

Rebecca West
Authors:
Rebecca West

Suppressed by the author during her lifetime, this is Rebecca West's fictionalized account of her obsessive love for Lord Beaverbrook and the disintegration of her relationship with H.G.Wells. It is a study of the irresistible eroticism of power.

Virago

The Harsh Voice

Rebecca West
Authors:
Rebecca West

In these four brilliant short novels set in America, England and Paris, Rebecca West explores the lives and relationships of rich women and men who are ruled by 'the harsh voice we hear when money talks, or hate'.There is Josie, a flower of American girlhood whose boundless ambition for wealth fatally loosens the bonds of her marriage to Corrie. There is Etienne de Sevenac, a dilettante French aristocrat whose courtly stratagems are no match for Nancy Sarle - a plain but powerful American businesswoman. There is Alice Pemberton, a sensible Englishwoman - the very salt of the earth - but a petty tyrant in her gracious Georgian home. And lastly there is Sam Hartley, an American businessman who has fought his way to riches with his wife at his side, but whose life is now haunted by an abiding vision of beautiful young women.

Virago

The Willow Cabin

Pamela Frankau
Authors:
Pamela Frankau
Virago

A Wreath For The Enemy

Pamela Frankau
Authors:
Pamela Frankau
Virago

The Winged Horse

Pamela Frankau
Authors:
Pamela Frankau
Virago

Frenchman's Creek

Daphne Du Maurier
Authors:
Daphne Du Maurier

A tale of love and adventure on the high seas from the internationally bestselling author of RebeccaThe Restoration Court knows Lady Dona St Columb to be ripe for any folly, any outrage that will alter the tedium of her days. But there is another, secret Dona who longs for freedom, honest love - and sweetness, even if it is spiced with danger. To escape the shallowness of court life, Dona retreats to Navron, her husband's remote Cornish estate. There, she seeks peace in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. But she finds instead a daring pirate, hunted by all Cornwall, a Frenchman who, like Dona, would gamble his life for a moment's joy. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.