• Pages: 288
  • ISBN: 9781844084944
  • Publisher: Virago
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Introduction: Hilary Mantel

The Tortoise and the Hare

Elizabeth Jenkins

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In affairs of the heart the race is not necessarily won by the swift or the fair. Imogen, the beautiful and much younger wife of distinguished barrister Evelyn Gresham, is facing the greatest challenge of her married life. Their neighbour Blanche Silcox, competent, middle-aged and ungainly – the very opposite of Imogen – seems to be vying for Evelyn’s attention. And to Imogen’s increasing disbelief, she may be succeeding.

Reviewed by Nigel Andrew in Slightly Foxed Issue 60.

Whatever Happened to Elizabeth Jenkins?

The Tortoise and the Hare was the first Elizabeth Jenkins novel I got my hands on, and I was not disappointed. It chronicles the break-up of a marriage – a familiar enough subject, but handled with rare imaginative flair and originality. Imogen is the beautiful, sensitive young wife of Evelyn Gresham, a handsome, brilliant and successful barrister with a very high opinion of himself and a strong sense of entitlement, neither of which his compliant wife has done anything to dent. The Greshams have plenty of money, a big house in Berkshire and a place in town, and a standard of living that might make today’s readers blink in disbelief. But are they happy? Of course they’re not . . .

Extract from Slightly Foxed Issue 60, Winter 2018

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