Set in interwar Britain, Taylor’s novel appropriately opens with a game of hide-and-seek. During the long evenings of summer, childhood friends Harriet and Vesey play games with Vesey’s younger cousins, but do not run after them too quickly: “To find the hiding children was to lose their time together, to run faster was to run away from one another.” They are only eighteen but already in love; they play not for the children, but to spend time with each other.
But life takes Harriet and Vesey in different directions. Vesey leaves to pursue an acting career and Harriet marries someone else. Fifteen years later Vesey returns and they discover that their love has not changed, despite all that has happened. But do they truly have a “second chance” to be together?
A healthy imagination is an essential asset for every novelist, but what about an imagination that is so powerful that it consumes its possessor?
Angelica Deverell, a shopkeeper’s daughter, is the victim of such an imagination. She lives above her mother’s grocery shop in a dreary English neighborhood, spending her days dreaming of being mistress of Paradise House, the stately home where her aunt is employed. One day, Angel decides she wants to write books. She finds a publisher, becomes an extraordinarily popular novelist and buys Paradise House. Her fantasy becomes reality and no one can stop Angel on her path to further success—except, perhaps, Angel herself.
- Format: Paperback
- Publication Date: February 6, 2012
- Series: NYRB Classics