Pretty, brave and eighteen, Ellie has come to London in search of adventure. She soon finds it in Quintin Bellot, the handsome but tired dilettante who finds her a job in fashionable Chelsea. But Quintin, the seducer of one dove, is also the husband of another. And Petta, his once beautiful wife, is fighting back age as fiercely as Ellie is plunging into it.
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(197mm x 130mm x 26mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
.....in their pursuit of love are Ellie Parsons, an eager eighteen up in London for the first time, and Petta, purposeless and unreliable as her beauty fades, her youth passes. Together they have in common- or do not have in common- Quintin Bellot, Petta's husband, a ladies' man of considerable charm and no heart, whose "little affair" with Ellie is brushed off quickly. "No longer a girl with everything to hope for, but a young woman with something to lose", Ellie becomes increasingly insecure; her job, at a studio secured originally for her by Quintin, is ended, and there are weeks in which she finds herself penniless and loveless before a new young man offers her marriage. Petta, drifting off into another affair, again makes a halfhearted attempt to take her life and Quintin is undeservedly rewarded by a large inheritance.... Olivia Manning writes well, and some times wickedly as she moves through various spheres from extreme poverty to extreme wealth; but with the exception of Ellie- in the absolutism of her youth, the characters who cross the pages are dilettantes and the diffidence of their lives will dim your interest. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Olivia Manning
Olivia Manning, OBE, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, spent much of her youth in Ireland, and, as she puts it, had 'the usual Anglo-Irish sense of belonging nowhere'. The daughter of a naval officer, she produced her first novel, The Wind Changes, in 1937. She married just before the War, and went abroad with her husband, R. D. Smith, a British Council lecturer in Bucharest. Her experiences there formed the basis of the work which makes up The Balkan Trilogy. As the Germans approached Athens, she and her husband evacuated to Egypt and ended up in charge of the Palestine Broadcasting Station. They returned to London in 1946 and lived there until her death in 1980.