The Balcony (Paperback)Jane Delury (author)
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WINNER OF THE SUE KAUFMAN PRIZE FOR FIRST FICTION FROM THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS
What if our homes could tell the stories of others who lived there before us?
To those who have ventured past it over the years, this small estate in a village outside Paris has always seemed calm and poised.
But should you open the gates and enter inside, you will find rooms which have become the silent witnesses to a century of human drama: from the young American au pair developing a crush on her brilliant employer to the ex-courtesan shocking the servants, and the Jewish couple in hiding from the Gestapo to the housewife who begins an affair while renovating her downstairs.
The stories of those who have lived within the estate have been many and varied. But as the years unfold, their lives inevitably come to haunt the same spaces and intertwine, creating a rich tapestry of the relationships, life-altering choices, and fleeting moments which have kept the house alive through the last hundred years. . .
'Sweeping, suspenseful, rich with surprises and eerie atmosphere' Jennifer Egan
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 178 g
Dimensions: 199 x 165 x 17 mm
Riveting . . . [the] stories, related in spare but evocative prose, offer fresh looks at human appetites - sex, love, money, art, culture - while exploring the ups and downs of childhood, family, friendship and aging . . . a compelling saga * Daily Mail *
In lucid prose, the author weaves together deeply involving stories centring on the house, moving back and forth in time, through war and other human catastrophes, rendering a very real France * Saga *
Unexpected . . . Each story stands alone and is satisfying to read, but taking the collection together, seeing the connections intertwine and having those moments of clarity and understanding elevate The Balcony into a truly mesmerising read. I thought it was intelligently written, beautifully constructed and fascinating -- Linda's Book Bag
A delicate fretwork of lives, relationships and secrets . . . Strikingly deft and nuanced; a writer to watch. * Kirkus starred review *
The tensions between country-idyll expectations and dispiriting realities course throughout this shimmering debut novel, whose time-hopping narrative depicts the interconnected journeys of the estate's sundry inhabitants from its 19th-century origins to the recent past. * The New York Times *
Jane Delury arrives on the scene of her debut with a sensibility fully formed and a breathtaking array of writerly gifts at her command. -- Jennifer Egan
A subtly crafted and richly rewarding debut . . . This narrative structure - stand-alone stories woven around a central figure - is reminiscent of "Olive Kitteridge," Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning book of stories built around the title character. It is no stretch to mention Delury and Strout in the same sentence: Delury's debut book, with wise observations, intriguing twists and indelibly drawn characters, is filled with reading pleasures . . . a compelling saga spanning France's past century, a period in which the manor, ravaged by wars and time, survives as a silent witness. * Daily Mail *
The prose is sharp, and the stories are instantly engaging. * People Magazine *
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