Top 10 jane gardam books for 2019
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Best jane gardam books
1. Old Filth (Old Filth Trilogy)
DescriptionBook One in Jane Gardam's Old Filth Trilogy
Sir Edward Feathers has had a brilliant career, from his early days as a lawyer in Southeast Asia, where he earned the nickname Old Filth (FILTH being an acronym for Failed In London Try Hong Kong) to his final working days as a respected judge at the English bar. Yet through it all he has carried with him the wounds of a difficult and emotionally hollow childhood. Now an eighty-year-old widower living in comfortable seclusion in Dorset, Feathers is finally free from the regimen of work and the sentimental scaffolding that has sustained him throughout his life. He slips back into the past with ever mounting frequency and intensity, and on the tide of these vivid, lyrical musings, Feathers approaches a reckoning with his own history. Not all the old filth, it seems, can be cleaned away.
Borrowing from biography and history, Jane Gardam has written a literary masterpiece reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling'sBaa Baa, Black Sheepthat retraces much of the twentieth century's torrid and momentous history. Feathers' childhood in Malaya during the British Empire's heyday, his schooling in pre-war England, his professional success in Southeast Asia and his return to England toward the end of the millennium, are vantage points from which the reader can observe the march forward of an eventful era and the steady progress of that man, Sir Edward Feathers, Old Filth himself, who embodies the century's fate.
2. The Stories of Jane Gardam
FeatureEuropa Editions Inc
DescriptionFrom the inimitable Jane Gardam, whose Old Filth trilogy cemented her status as one of Englands greatest living novelists, comes a collection of short stories that showcase her subversive wit, gentle humor, and insight into the human condition. Gardams versatility is on full display, while her sublime grasp of language and powers of observation remain as provocative as ever.
3. A Long Way from Verona
DescriptionJane Gardam's marvelous stories of young girls on the threshold of womanhoodGod on the Rocks and Crusoe's Daughterhave delighted fans and critics alike. These "modern classics" (The Independent) are now joined by a new novel that is equally fresh and genuine, comic and touching.
Jessica Vye introduces herself with an enigmatic pronouncement: "I ought to tell you at the beginning that I am not quite normal, having had a violent experience at the age of nine." A revered author has told Jessica that she is, beyond all doubt, a born writer. This proves an accurate prediction of the future, one that indelibly colors her life at school and her preception of the world.
Jessica has always known that her destiny would be shaped by her refusal to conform, her compulsion to tell the absolute truth, and her dedication to observing the strange wartime world that surrounds her. What she doesn't know, however, is that the experiences and ideas that set her apart will also lead her to a new and wholly unexpected life. Told with grace and inimitable wit, A Long Way to Verona is a wise and vivid portrait of adolescent discovery and impending adulthood.
4. Faith Fox
DescriptionThe story of a motherless girl named Faith and her family and close friends, all of whom are determined to see her live a happy life.
Faith's mother died in childbirth; her overworked father cannot raise his child alone; and her unconventional grandmother refuses to acknowledge the child whose birth took away the daughter she loved. And so a motley crew of family and friends converges to see that Faith is brought up correctly. The concerned parties include Faith's uncle, who runs a commune in northern England; the Tibetan refugees who have moved in with him; and the splendidly bickering paternal grandparents. What ensues is a brilliant comedy of manners set equally amidst high society and low.
Faith Fox is a story that explores the wonder of the human heart in all its thunderous eccentricity. Gardam has mastered the essence of age and youth and above all noncomformity. Her memorable characters are sure to delight.
5. The Hollow Land
DescriptionThe barren, beautiful Cumbrian fells provide the bewitching setting for the adventures of Bell and Harry, two children who find enchanting wonder at every turn, as they explore THE HOLLOW LAND. Everyday challenges give a daring edge to this rural work and play. There are ancient mysteries to explore and uncover, like the case of the Egg Witch, and everyone is curious about the Household Name, a wildly famous Londoner moving in to the jewel of the territory, Light Trees Farm. With painterly ease, Jane Gardams stories fly with a marvelous spirit that will delight readers of all ages!
6. The Man in the Wooden Hat (Old Filth Trilogy)
FeatureUsed Book in Good Condition
DescriptionBook Two in Jane Gardam's Old Filth Trilogy
The New York Times called Sir Edward Feathers one of the most memorable characters in modern literature. A lyrical novel that recalls his fully lived life, Old Filth has been acclaimed as Jane Gardam?s masterpiece, a book where life and art merge. And now that beautiful, haunting novel has been joined by a companion that also bursts with humor and wisdom: The Man in the Wooden Hat.
Old Filth was Eddie?s story. The Man in the Wooden Hat is the history of his marriage told from the perspective of his wife, Betty, a character as vivid and enchanting as Filth himself.
They met in Hong Kong after the war. Betty had spent the duration in a Japanese internment camp. Filth was already a successful barrister, handsome, fast becoming rich, in need of a wife but unaccustomed to romance. A perfect English couple of the late 1940s.
As a portrait of a marriage, with all the bittersweet secrets and surprising fulfillment of the 50-year union of two remarkable people, the novel is a triumph. The Man in the Wooden Hat is fiction of a very high order from a great novelist working at the pinnacle of her considerable power. It will be read and loved and recommended by all the many thousands of readers who found its predecessor, Old Filth, so compelling and so thoroughly satisfying.
7. The Flight of the Maidens
DescriptionJane Gardam, author of the Old Filth Trilogy, delivers another modern classic in The Flight of the Maidens. With her characteristic wit, Gardam captures a moment in time for three young women on the cusp of adulthood. With keen perception the novel charts the course of this trio as they boldly face their uncertain futures.
It is Yorkshire, 1946. The end of the war has changed the world again, and
emboldened by this new dawning Hetty Fallows, Una Vane, and Lisolette Klein seize the opportunities with enthusiasm. Hetty, desperate to escape the grasp of her critical mother, books a solo holiday to the Lake District under the pretext of completing her Oxford summer coursework. Una, the daughter of a disconcertingly cheery hairdresser, entertains a romantically inclined young man from the wrong side of the tracks and the left-side of politics. Meanwhile, Lisolette Klein, the mysterious Jewish refugee from Germany, leaves the Quaker family who had rescued her, to test herself in London. Although strikingly different from one another, these young women share the common goal of adventure and release from their middle class surroundings through romance and education.
Gardam demonstrates her talent for creating fully realized characters in these venturesome, intelligent young women whose stories are told with delight and understanding. This reissue of The Flight of the Maidens will appeal to a wide range of adult and young adult readers.
8. Last Friends (Old Filth Trilogy)
DescriptionBook Three in Jane Gardam's Old Filth trilogy.
Last Friends is the third and concluding novel in the highly praised trilogy that began with Old Filth and continued with The Man in the Wooden Hat.
The haunting first novel was the story of a decades-long marriage that stretched from the immediate post-World War II period into the opening of the twenty-first century. Sir Edward Feathers (Old Filth) was a captivating character: so clever, so triumphantly his own man, so wounded by his dreadful childhood.
The Man in the Wooden Hat was Betty's story. She and Sir Edward met and married in Hong Kong. She was surdy and dependable, the exemplary wife of an eminent lawyer. She owned two exceptional strands of pearls given to her by two men, who desired her and despised each other with equal authority. This second, equally witty, novel weighed the difference between marriage and romance with great subtlety and understanding.
Last Friends is Terence Veneering's turn. His beginnings were not those of the usual establishment grandee. Filth's hated rival in court and in love is the son of a Russian acrobat marooned in the English midlands and a local girl. He escapes the war and later emerges in the Far East as a man of panache and fame. The Bar treats his success with suspicion: where did this handsome, brilliant Slav come from? This exquisite story of Veneering, Filth, and their circle tells a bittersweet tale of friendship and grace and of the disappoinments and consolations of age. They are all, finally, each other's last friend as this magnificent series ends with the deep and abiding satisfaction that only great literature provides.
9. God on the Rocks
FeatureUsed Book in Good Condition
DescriptionOriginally published in Great Britain in 1978, Gardam's Booker Prize short-listed novel describes Margaret Marsh's coming of age one summer between two world wars. Drama, tragedy, and a touch of farce lend themselves to Gardam's typically eloquent prose.
10. Old Filth Trilogy Set (Old Filth, The Man in the Wooden Hat, Last Friends)