An imaginative, fascinating novel about one of the most enduringly popular and romantic figures of the first world war: the radical, handsome young poet Rupert Brooke.
In her old age, Nell Golightly receives a strange letter. A Tahitian woman, claiming to be the daughter of the poet Rupert Brooke, writes to ask Nell to describe her father—his voice, his smell, how it felt to hold him . . . and why all of England remembered him.
In 1909, sixteen-year-old Nell was the new housemaid at the Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester, and Rupert Brooke, the new tenant of Orchard House, was already causing a stir with his boyish good looks and habit of swimming naked in nearby Byron’s Pool. Everyone he met fell in love with him, while he, apparently, loved no one but himself. Worst of all, even practical Nell seemed to be falling under his spell.
With great imaginative skill and playfulness, Jill Dawson reveals a man more surprising, complex, and radical than this romanticized image suggests, and powerfully conveys the allure of charisma as it captures the mysterious and often perverse workings of the human heart.
Jill Dawson is one of Britain’s most talented contemporary writers. She began publishing at the age of 22 by winning first prize in a national short story competition. She went on to win an Eric Gregory Award for poetry, and published her first novel, Trick of the Light, in 1996. She is the author of six novels, editor of six anthologies of poetry and short stories, and has published one poetry pamphlet. Fred & Edie, her third novel, was shortlisted for both the Whitbread and Orange Prize, and was voted one of 50 essential novels by a living author.
She has held many fellowships, including the British Council Fellowship in Amherst, and the Creative Writing Fellowship at UEA, where she taught on the Writing MA.
In 2006 she received an honorary doctorate in recognition of her writing and her work with new writers.
Her latest novel, The Great Lover, has been selected as a Summer Read for 2009 by TV’s Richard and Judy Book Club.
Jill Dawson is currently director of Gold Dust, a mentoring scheme for writers
Visit Jill Dawson at her website, www.jilldawson.co.uk.
Jill Dawson’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Wednesday, June 2nd: Books Like Breathing
Thursday, June 3rd: Eclectic/Eccentric
Monday, June 7th: Peetswea
Tuesday, June 8th: As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves
Wednesday, June 9th: Bookstack
Tuesday, June 15th: Literate Housewife
Thursday, June 17th: Nonsuch Book
Tuesday, June 22nd: My Two Blessings
Wednesday, June 23rd: Thoughts From an Evil Overlord
Thursday, June 24th: The Tome Traveler
Monday, June 28th: 1330v
Saturday, July 3rd: Peetswea Interview