The Gorse Trilogy
By Patrick Hamilton
Ernest Ralph Gorse's heartlessness and lack of scruple are matched only by the inventiveness and panache with which he swindles his victims. With great deftness and precision Hamilton exposes how his dupes' own naivete, snobbery or greed make them perfect targets. These three novels are shot through with the brooding menace and sense of bleak inevitability so characteristic of the author. There is also vivid satire and caustic humour. Gorse is thought to be based on the real-life murderer Neville Heath, hanged in 1946.
By Angela Thirkell
Barsetshire in the war years. Growing Up is the story of ladies, gentlemen, and their irrepressible children keeping the war at bay in their country town. Trying to do their part as the Second World War ravages Europe, Sir Harry and Lady Waring open their estate to convalescing soldiers - bringing romance, drama, and subtle life lessons to the Warings' young niece and her friends.
The Grapes Of Wrath
By John Steinbeck, John Chancer
Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of dust bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel West in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human, yet majestic in its scale and moral vision; an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit.
By Mary McCarthy
THE GROUP follows eight graduates from exclusive Vassar College as they find love and heartbreak, forge careers, gossip and party in 1930s Manhattan.THE GROUP can be seen as the original SEX AND THE CITY. It is the first novel to frankly portray women's real lives, exploring subjects such as sex, contraception, motherhood and marriage.
The Gods Arrive
By Edith Wharton
Halo Tarrant, abandoning her failed marriage, elopes to Europe with the brilliant young writer, Vance Weston. As they travel around, her only wish is to serve him and his genius. But, ignoring the pain her amiguous status brings, Vance takes her loving attentions for granted and rejects the critical advice he had formerly welcomed. This distinguished novel, companion piece to HUDSON RIVER BRACKETED, first published in 1932, shows a writer's struggle for integrity and maturity, and the difficulties which, even in the most idealistic relationship, beset men and women in a changing but hypocritical moral climate.