A short story anthology of thrills, chills, and the impulses and longings that drive us, from the bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles.
In this dazzling collection, author Elizabeth Jane Howard mines the rich terrain of the heart with her trademark wit and style, as well as a Hitchcockian dose of spine-tingling suspense.
In “Pont du Gard,” a man on holiday with his sixteen-year-old daughter and her best friend gets his comeuppance when he confesses his infidelities to his long-suffering wife, and in Howard’s masterly hands, the seduction of the naïve, betrothed Englishwoman of “Toutes Directions” by a worldly Frenchman is fresh, tender, and liberating.
In another story, a twelve-year-old child star plots how to get the “Whip Hand” over her monstrous mother, while the effects of a family patriarch dying on Christmas day are shown through the shifting perspectives of his loved ones, including a loyal servant, in “The Devoted.” And in the hair-raising, hallucinatory title story, a young woman moves to London to satisfy her mother’s desire for her to meet her soul mate—only to encounter a menacing stranger who gives terrifying new meaning to the finding of Mr. Right.
In these and other tales, Howard proves once again that she is a master of the subtle, revealing domestic detail. Featuring wronged spouses, stalkers, and men and women falling in and out of love, the nine stories in this haunting collection skew our perceptions and reality while brimming with emotion that is at once unique and universal.