A troubled family gather at the ancestral home on the Welsh coast, awkwardly awaiting the death of the family patriarch. Polite conversation gives way to sly remarks and bickering in this tense reunion, and the household's respectable surface is scratched away to expose secret warfare, malicious games and viciously funny class-consciousness. In ...
A troubled family gather at the ancestral home on the Welsh coast, awkwardly awaiting the death of the family patriarch. Polite conversation gives way to sly remarks and bickering in this tense reunion, and the household's respectable surface is scratched away to expose secret warfare, malicious games and viciously funny class-consciousness. In Alice Thomas Ellis's first novel, the caustic wit, brisk pace, and profound insight she is famous for are displayed to full effect.
New. No dust jacket as issued. SHIPS 1ST CLASS UPGRADE [2-3 DAY DELIV] W/TRACKING FROM NJ; GIFT-ABLE as LIKE NEW, TIGHT, LOVELY, pages crisp and clean, not a mark, NEAR NEW (pages have been toning on the shelf) AS SHOWN THIS COPY; GIFT-ABLE AS NEAR NEW. B-format paperback. 192 p. Audience: General/trade. 3952--Rose has declared war on wickedness....As the family gather at the deathbed of her reprobate father-in-law, Rose prepares to play her malicious and elaborate game....Ermyn, afraid of being bad, misguidedly turns to the Bible for comfort. She longs to bring about reconciliation, but as the weekend of ill-feeling and secret warfare draws to its climax, Ermyn can only watch as Rose's game rebounds with unexpected savagery.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-08-24 Britain's not-quite-newly mobile social order is vividly portrayed in this comical tour de force by veteran writer Ellis. An old family in Wales has gathered at its manor house to attend the dying of the family patriarch, the Captain. Mischievous heroine Rose, the daughter of the local vet, is married to Henry, the eldest son and heir. Michael, the younger son, is married to conservative, snobbish Angela. A repressed younger sister, Ermyn, longs only to become a nun. Ellis's satire includes those belowstairs, too. Housekeeper Phyllis, once the mainstay of the great house, now divides her days between nursing the Captain and cooking treats for her plump grandson, Gomer, who does nothing at all. Phyllis's son, known in the family as Jack the Liar, gets drunk as often as possible and settles for idleness the rest of the time. A pet ewe named Virginia Woolf wanders about. The quaint village of Llanelys, where the family lives, sports modern signs of commerce in Welsh and English; these days, instead of raising sheep, the locals fleece tourists for a living. Ellis's hilarious narrative moves briskly, helped by prose that is precise and illustrative, without a wasted word. Anglophiles will love this book, more evidence from Booker short-lister Ellis (Fairy Tale) that the British have not lost the knack for self-mockery. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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