‘An intensely remembered, partly autobiographical novel . . .
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989, this novel describes the childhood of Billi, a girl growing up in Europe between the wars. When her father dies, she swaps life in a run-down German château for an exhilarating existence with her beautiful, talented and unreliable mother on the French Riviera.
Sent away to England for schooling, the gypsy-like Billi ricochets between short-lived tutors and a life of reading, friends and public lectures. Returning to the Mediterranean, her unorthodox education – academic, emotional and sexual – continues among the vibrant community of artists, exiles and intellectuals who have colonised the coast, coaxing her towards a life of literature.’ – Eland Books
‘A deliciously evoked return to worlds, and a Europe, now almost vanished; it will ravish connoisseurs of the lost.’ John Fowles
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