At a party in the Hollywood Hills, Stephen Monk finds his wife in the arms of another man. Betrayed and furious, he packs his belongings and returns to the home he was born in. There he begins to retrace the steps that have brought him to this crisis. He is reminded of his own betrayals and weaknesses. But most of all, the memory of his lost love, Elizabeth Rydal, haunts him. Can he forgive his wife, and most importantly, himself?
A brilliant enigma.
W H AUDEN, Louis MacNeice, Stephen Spender, Christopher Isherwood, C Day Lewis. The brat-pack of their day. They are still considered by many to have been the great writers of the 1930s... Isherwood alone produced his greatest work during the thirties - Mr Norris Changes Trains (1935), Lions and Shadows (1938), Goodbye to Berlin (1939) - and yet more than any of the others he deserves to be regarded as a quintessentially modern writer, a writer with whom we can identify, a writer whose life was his work, and vice-versa.
From novels about parenting to making love last, here are some great books to read in your forties.
Katherine Bucknell edited The Animals, a collection of Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy's love letters. She charts the journey to bringing them to life in a podcast starring Simon Callow and Alan Cumming