The morning I left home Mother was recovering from being poorly and she’d been sick in the vegetable basket.
First published in 1967, A Touch of Mistletoe is a coming-of-age story that shows Barbara Comyns’s inimitable voice at its best.
Sisters Victoria and Blanche live a secluded life in their grandfather’s house. When he dies, their mother, a war widow with a thirst for port, replaces drink with housework and the girls plan their escape. Blanche heads off to train as a model in London. Vicky wants to study art but answers an advert leading her to Holland, where she tends a pack of bull terriers. This is just the beginning of the sisters’ adventures which take them from poverty to a wider bohemian world as they encounter love and fluctuating fortunes.
‘Everyone should read Barbara Comyns . . . There is no one to beat her when it comes to the uncanny.’ Guardian
‘Strange and unsettling.’ Margaret Drabble
‘You never quite know where you are with Comyns – which is what makes her novels so intriguing.’ Telegraph
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