Jake, Clio and Julius Hirsh and their cousin, Lady Grace Stretton, formed a charmed circle in those lost innocent days before the Great War - united against the world. Old now, Clio recounts their story for her biographer: Jake's wartime experiences, which moved him to work as a doctor in the London slums; Clio and Grace, flappers flitting through bohemian Fitzrovia to emerge as literary lion and pioneering Member of Parliament respectively; the music that drowned for Julius the crash of jackboots in thirties Berlin. But for herself, Clio remembers a different story - desperate lies and bitter secrets, hopeless love and careless betrayal, and jealous loyalties more like fetters - and above all, the truth about Grace, beautiful, destructive siren at the centre of the circle.
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Rosie Thomas writes for magazines and newspapers as well as her fiction. When not writing she spends her time travelling and mountaineering. In 1997 she competed in the Peking to Paris Motor Rally, and she has climbed Mont Blanc as well as travelling to Everest and the Antarctic.From Kirkus Reviews:
A sizable English period romance by the popular Thomas (A Woman of Our Times, Bad Girls, Good Women, etc.), in which the cousins, joined by blood, do battle and then make up during the years of war (WW I and II)--through love and lust, domestic coziness, and political upheavals--until the close, when there's a veritable buckshot blast of doom. ``Grace and I are like...weight and counterweight...faces reflecting each other, but our souls [are] immiscible.'' It is the avant-garde painter known simply as ``Pilgrim'' who is hired (reluctantly) by Grace's father, the stuffy Earl, and her mother, Lady Blanche, to paint Grace and her cousin Clio when they're in their early 20s. The painting, The Janus Face, shows two beautiful women joined at the hip but straining away from each other. But while Pilgrim is busy between brushstrokes, Grace moves in on him (another of Clio's infatuations) and later discovers that she's pregnant. She'll marry failed-writer Anthony, however--a man whom she, at first, does not love and who will never know that daughter Cressida is not his. Meanwhile, Grace will love her husband, finally, and after his death, enter politics and become an MP. Through it all, the Hirsh family (kind professor Nathaniel, Clio's father, married Lady Blanche's twin), so busy and intellectual, are growing up: Jake and Julius become a doctor and famous violinist, respectively; Alice turns into a nasty little Nazi; Tabitha becomes a nun, and Hugo sensible landed gentry. Clio made a truly stupid marriage, but eventually meets true love--German Jew Raphael-- before the war. At the end, there's a trio of shocking deaths, and, in the present, an ancient Clio remembers.... A fat, shrewdly formulaic pastime with English country- house/cafe lures. Competent lubricous romance. (Book-of-the-Month Dual Selection for September) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Arrow Books Ltd, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110099464853
Book Description Arrow Books Ltd, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0099464853
Book Description Arrow Books Ltd, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099464853
Book Description Arrow Books Ltd, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 99464853