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Publisher's Summary

July 1964. Chartwell House, Kent: Winston Churchill wakes at dawn. There's a dark, mute "presence" in the room that focuses on him with rapt concentration.

It's Mr. Chartwell.

Soon after, in London, Esther Hammerhans, a librarian at the House of Commons, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress.

It's Mr. Chartwell.

Charismatic, dangerously seductive, Mr. Chartwell unites the eminent statesman at the end of his career and the vulnerable young woman. But can they withstand Mr. Chartwell's strange, powerful charms and his stranglehold on their lives? Can they even explain who or what he is and why he has come to visit?

In this utterly original, moving, funny, and exuberant novel, Rebecca Hunt explores how two unlikely lives collide as Mr. Chartwell's motives are revealed to be far darker and deeper than they at first seem.

©2011 Rebecca Hunt (P)2011 Random House

Critic Reviews

“[A] marvellously original, tender and funny debut novel . . . Rebecca Hunt proves herself to be a gifted writer who has no need of fictional realism to deliver profound truths.” (The Daily Mail)
“Extraordinary . . . Owing to Hunt’s robust, intelligent style and the ingenuity and compassion with which she deals with her story, [Mr. Chartwell] is very good indeed.” (The Daily Telegraph (London))
“Moving . . . Hunt treats her heavy themes with a light, intelligent touch and writes with a distinctive blend of humour, restraint and insight.” (Metro)

What listeners say about Mr. Chartwell

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