Situated on a Turkish island, Portmantle might be the strangest, most exclusive artists' colony around. Its brilliant residents linger for years, all expenses paid and living under assumed names. Relieved of the burdens of time and ego, they are free to create their next masterpieces. Elspeth Conroy (aka "Knell") is a Scottish painter who has been at Portmantle for a decade, a refugee from the hectic London art scene. Her fellow longtimers include Quickman, whose sole book became a classic and paralyzed his muse.
An assistant at a nursing home, 20-year-old Oscar Lowe has made a life for himself amid the colleges and spires of Cambridge, and yet is a world apart from the privileged students who roam its grounds and study in the hallowed halls. By chance, he meets the wealthy, charismatic Bellwether siblings, Iris and Eden, after the otherworldly sounds of an organ entice him inside the chapel at King’s College. Oscar falls in love with beautiful, quirky Iris, a medical student, and is drawn into her opulent world.
On a forested island off the coast of Istanbul stands Portmantle, a gated refuge for beleaguered artists. There, a curious assembly of painters, architects, writers and musicians strive to restore their faded talents. Elspeth "Knell" Conroy is a celebrated painter who has lost faith in her ability and fled the dizzying art scene of 1960s London. On the island she spends her nights locked in her blacked-out studio, testing a strange new pigment for her elusive masterpiece. But when a disaffected teenager named Fullerton arrives at the refuge, he disrupts its established routines.
Un jeu pervers où s'affrontent tour à tour manipulateurs et manipulés. Brillantissime: Cambridge, de nos jours. Au détour d'une allée de l'imposant campus, Oscar est irrésistiblement attiré par la puissance de l'orgue et des chants provenant d'une chapelle de King's College. Subjugué malgré lui, il ne peut maîtriser un sentiment d'extase. Premier rouage de l'engrenage.