A Bed of Roses
Republished by Faber & Faber (Faber Finds)
When Guy Harrowby plays a particularly mean trick on the gentle Louise, she feels that the four-year-old bond between them is well and truly broken. She goes to Spain with two friends for a holiday and finds Guy on the same ship, excercising all his actor's charm upon the impressionable Molly, but Louise accepts it as part of the process of curing herself of him. Also on board is the young architect, Michael Clary, to whom Louise becomes engaged. The cure should now be complete; yet, Guy continues to pursue her: for all his charm, he is an armour-plated egotist, equipped with an effrontery which neither Louise's friends nor Molly's outraged parents can cope with. As tension mounts, the inevitable explosion comes - a quick, sudden scene shattering in its violence.
The background is as brilliantly-alive as the characters: the bull-fight, the Desfila, seguidilla and flamenco, the rain and grit and everyday life of Spain, its colour, harshness, dignity, disquiet, are all woven into the moods and actions of the travellers.
One of our best living prose writers…always full of humour and sharply beautiful descriptions of scenery and emotions.
One of the 'musts' of contemporary novel reading…it is virtually impossible to put this book down.