The magnetism of a colourful bohemian family bewitches a lonely girl. From the 1950s to the 1980s, Britain's sweeping cultural changes are mirrored in the exploits of the Felixes, their loves and their friendships. Motherless Kate Stephens is temporarily dumped by her father on the easy-going, unconventional family of his old friend, Jerome Felix. Her stay becomes permanent, as she falls in love with her adopted family and their home, Plas Felix, a large and comfortable house on the North Wales coast. Over the years, Kate feels she owes everything to her association with the fascinating Felixes. Her obsession is gradually tempered by the painful realisation that the creatures she finds so splendid are merely human beings, their glamour hiding dangerous weaknesses. This is sharpened by a tragedy which the family must absorb to survive, and Kate discovers the power of her independence brings its own consequences.
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After taking a Modern Languages degree at Oxford, Elizabeth James taught at various schools and also worked with children with special needs. She then ran a bookshop with her husband, but since 1987 has been writing full time.
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