With the country's men at war, it falls to the land girls to pitch in and do their bit.... Stella arrives at Hallows Farm in her Rayon stockings, having just waved goodbye to the love of life - naval officer Philip. Agatha has just graduated from Cambridge; life on the Farm is certainly going to offer her a different kind of education. Prue, a hairdresser from Manchester, is used to painting the town red, not manual labour. Joe dreams of leaving the family farm and becoming a fighter pilot. But with the arrival of these three beautiful young women, there's enough to keep him busy on the farm for the time being....
"Thank Goodness for an Epilogue"
The married couples in this book have two things in common: a skill in the duplicity that flourishes even in happy marriages, and an invitation to the Farthingoes’ ball. In the months preceding the party, we learn something of their double lives: The faces that each one exposes to their spouses and to the world give little hint of their complex and secret tribulations. By the time they arrive at the ball, each clutching his or her different hopes and fears, and we have become familiar with their unsmooth paths.
"Narrator should be ashamed of himself"
Quiet, clever, sensible Virginia Fly, still a virgin at thirty-one, harbours erotic thoughts of an intensity and vividness unimagined by her suburban parents, her unassuming elderly suitor Hans or even her virile American pen-friend of twelve years, Charles Whitmore Oakhampton Jr - Charlie. When Charlie announces that he is, at last, to visit England, it seems too much to hope that he should make Virginia's dreams of passion reality.
In addition to a career that has produced such critically acclaimed novels as Land Girls, Wives of the Fisherman, and Of Love and Slaughter, Angela Huth is also a master of the short story, as this succulent retrospective spanning 30 years reveals.
"Superb writing and fantastic narrating."
Ravishing, extravagant, flirtatious Annie MacLeoud and kind, plain, virtuous Myrtle Duns cannot remember a time when they were not the most loving, rivalrous and unlikely of friends; unflinchingly loyal to each other in the harsh climate of the Scottish fishing village which is their home. Their friendship has been tested many times, most of all when Myrtle embarks upon the great love affair of her life, while the beautiful Annie finds only disappointment.
South of the Lights weaves the story of Evans and Brenda, lovers in a Midlands village, whose happiest hours are spent in the hayloft of the chicken farm on which she works. They have no other roof under which they can be alone together - until the mysterious, romantic Augusta comes to their aid. Evans' desire to possess Brenda results sometimes in passion, sometimes in violence, but Brenda finds sympathy in the company of the fragile and sweet-natured Lark
George Elkin has loyally trained as a solicitor in order to follow in his father's footsteps and run the family firm. But when his father dies, George resolves to follow his heart instead, looking after the West Country farm he grew up on. With the help of neighbours, his childhood friends Prodge and Nell, George is sure he can adapt to a rural lifestyle. Nell holds feelings for George she has kept hidden since their childhood and has long had the hope that their friendship would develop into something stronger.
The ghost of a doomed romance haunts an Oxford undergraduate's idyllic summer affair; a tragedy of hopeless love and murderous frustration is played out against the backdrop of a provincial repertory company; passion and hatred flower side by side in suburban back gardens.
The war is over but life goes on for Land Girls Prue, Stella and Ag. While two of the girls are married, Prue, the incorrigible flirt, is engaged in a quest for a man to provide her with security. A year after the girls leave Hallows Farm, Prue finds just such a man and a marriage that protects her from post-war hardships. The lives of her two old friends, Stella and Ag, have moved on; neither her visits to them nor her newly wedded state supply the answers she seeks.
Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.' Emily has not yet reached the age of judgement. For her, normality consists of contentment and magic and there is no possibility of change in the seeming happiness of her parents - Fen, beautiful and mercurial, and Idle, a hardworking and gentle man. She loves them both and her image of them is together - indivisible, laughing, dancing,
The Handles, happily married for many years, have reached the point in their lives where easy silence, an acceptance of each other's ways, is the norm. Grace has her painting, and the children's reference book she has long been working on. William has his music and his string quartet, even if his name isn't quite spelled like the great composer. Then Grace encounters a young man, Lucien, who adopts her, haunts her, threatens her - and provides her days with a bittersweet frisson. And William becomes so besotted by his new viola player, he decides to murder his wife....
Harry Antlers, a once successful theatre director, falls obsessively in love with Viola Windrush when she comes to New York for an audition. He immediately sends her a hundred red roses and convinces himself that her lack of response is purely temporary. He is certain that if he makes enough extravagant and expensive gestures she will be his. There follows a wild pursuit, which takes Harry to Viola's beautiful old Norfolk house and to London, where she is decorating a flat for her uncle.
"Worst American "Accents" I've Ever Heard"
This is a sparkling collection of short stories, dealing with love, loss and the tiny happenings that make up our everyday experience. Her most brilliant stories are about successful couples who own comfortable houses, enjoy interesting lives, raise attractive children - and commit adultery. On the other hand, the author is equally concerned with the old, the lonely and the hard-up, perceiving the exiguous sources from which they derive their hope or consolation and the last straws which drive them to despair.
Estranged from her second husband, Jonathan, Clare Lyall is less sure than ever about the role men should play in her life. Her first husband, Richard, was much older than her, and his casual disregard for youth gradually hardened into indifference. And Jonathan, if anything, was too easy - too attentive, too concerned, and just a little too pedantic. So when she meets Joshua Heron at a party, the offbeat Clare isn't exactly thirsting for love.
The characters in Angela Huth's marvellous collection of stories are all winners or losers in the game of love: from the two friends competing in a gruelling cross-country marathon for the man they both wish to marry, to the lonely Cheltenham widow abandoning all decorum after too many Irish Coffees; from a seaside donkey owner giving away his favourite animal for the sake of a pair of sad grey eyes, to the husband taking up secret dancing lessons to please his dance-mad wife.