Coral Glynn: A Novel

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Coral Glynn: A Novel

by Peter Cameron

Farrar, Straus And Giroux | November 7, 2013 | Hardcover

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Coral Glynn arrives at Hart House, an isolated manse in the English countryside, early in the very wet spring of 1950, to nurse the elderly Mrs. Hart, who is dying of cancer. Hart House is also inhabited by Mrs. Prence, the perpetually disgruntled housekeeper, and Major Clement Hart, Mrs. Hart''s war-ravaged son, who is struggling to come to terms with his latent homosexuality. When a child''s game goes violently awry in the woods surrounding Hart House, a great shadow--love, perhaps--descends upon its inhabitants. Like the misguided child''s play, other seemingly random events--a torn dress, a missing ring, a lost letter--propel Coral and Clement into the dark thicket of marriage.


A period novel observed through a refreshingly gimlet eye, Coral Glynn explores how quickly need and desire can blossom into love, and just as quickly transform into something less categorical. Borrowing from themes and characters prevalent in the work of mid-twentieth-century British women writers, Peter Cameron examines how we live and how we love--with his customary empathy and wit.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8.53 × 5.94 × 0.84 in

Published: November 7, 2013

Publisher: Farrar, Straus And Giroux

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0374299013

ISBN - 13: 9780374299019

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

Coral Glynn: A Novel

by Peter Cameron

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8.53 × 5.94 × 0.84 in

Published: November 7, 2013

Publisher: Farrar, Straus And Giroux

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0374299013

ISBN - 13: 9780374299019

About the Book

A period novel observed through a refreshingly gimlet eye, "Coral Glynn" explores how quickly need and desire can blossom into love and just as quickly transform into something less categorical. Borrowing from themes and characters prevalent in the work of mid-20th-century British women writers, Cameron examines how we live and how we love.

Read from the Book

PART ONE     That spring—the spring of 1950—had been particularly wet. An area at the bottom of the garden at Hart House flooded, creating a shallow pool through which the crocuses gamely raised their little flounced heads, like cold shivering children in a swimming class. The blond gravel on the garden paths had turned green, each pebble wrapped in a moist transparent blanket of slime, and one could not sit on either of the two cement benches that flanked the river gate without first unhinging the snails and slugs adhered to them. The excessive moistness of the garden was of no concern to anyone at Hart House except for the new nurse, who had arrived on Thursday, and had attempted, on the two afternoons that were somewhat mild, to sit outside for a moment, away from the sickness and strain in the house. But she found the garden inhospitable, and so had resolved to stay indoors. She was the nurse, officially at least, only to the old lady, Mrs Hart, who was dying of cancer. Her son, Major Hart, who had been wounded in the war—he seemed to be missing a leg or at least part of one, and moved his entire body with an odd marionette stiffness—did not, officially at least, require a nurse. Coral Glynn was the third nurse to arrive in as many months; it was unclear what, exactly, had driven her predecessors away, although there was much conjecture on the subject in the town. First it was supposed that the Major was perhaps a Lothario, and had made d
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From the Publisher

Coral Glynn arrives at Hart House, an isolated manse in the English countryside, early in the very wet spring of 1950, to nurse the elderly Mrs. Hart, who is dying of cancer. Hart House is also inhabited by Mrs. Prence, the perpetually disgruntled housekeeper, and Major Clement Hart, Mrs. Hart''s war-ravaged son, who is struggling to come to terms with his latent homosexuality. When a child''s game goes violently awry in the woods surrounding Hart House, a great shadow--love, perhaps--descends upon its inhabitants. Like the misguided child''s play, other seemingly random events--a torn dress, a missing ring, a lost letter--propel Coral and Clement into the dark thicket of marriage.


A period novel observed through a refreshingly gimlet eye, Coral Glynn explores how quickly need and desire can blossom into love, and just as quickly transform into something less categorical. Borrowing from themes and characters prevalent in the work of mid-twentieth-century British women writers, Peter Cameron examines how we live and how we love--with his customary empathy and wit.

About the Author

Peter Cameron is the author of Andorra (FSG, 1997), The City of Your Final Destination (FSG, 2002), and Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You (FSG, 2007). His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Grand Street, and The Paris Review. He lives in New York City.

Editorial Reviews

There are so many intriguing aspects to Peter Cameron''s latest novel, Coral Glynn, that I have no reservations in recommending it enthusiastically . . . The plot works itself out in such a way, that only the reader can be aware of the near misses, the parallels and the intersections that link thematically the journeys of the principals. This dramatic irony lifts the reader above precarious contingencies of the couple''s unhappiness. So lifted we look down on a world we cannot quite understand and are tempted to consign to that country where things are done differently.