224 pages, 8.53 × 5.94 × 0.84 in
November 7, 2013
Farrar, Straus And Giroux
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 disreputable advances, although he had ne
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.
"A sad, beautiful, absorbing story of love missed, love lost, love found . Cameron has taken great pains to artfully reveal the wounding shards of personal history that motivate--or enervate--every character. They lie inside each person, so the reader has the sense of their hidden presence even before the lacerating shock when they're let loose. Quite apart from the narrative drive, there is plenty of propulsion in the powerful elegance of the writing of this story of a young nurse named Coral Glynn." -Dominique Browning, The New York Times Book Review"Peter Cameron spent part of his childhood in England, so his accent, so to speak, is authentic; but it's also derived from his veneration for British miniaturists like the novelists Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Pym. . . Pull up a chair by the fire and settle in, but don't get too lulled by the domestic setting, because Cameron's writing is full of sharp angles and unanticipated swerves into the droll and the downright weird . . . Coral Glynn is young, alone in the world, and described by other characters as 'rather pretty . . . in a plain way.' If that phrase puts you in mind of Jane Eyre, it should; Cameron also doffs his cap to Daphne DuMaurier's classic about a solitary orphan, Rebecca. I mean it as the highest compliment when I say that Coral Glynn is not 'about' anything so much as it is about the pleasures of storytelling. Even throwaway scenes are so closely observed, they offer the delight of the unexpected word or det