Adam is a writer, struggling to come to terms with the death of his painter father, Robert, and his difficult marriage to Catherine. Before he married Catherine, he had been the lover of her sister, Vinny. The classic menage a trois seems about to repeat itself, when Adam discovers his wife's father was less innocent than he had thought. Set mainly in contemporary London, partly in France, the action also harks back to the 1970's. The narrative evokes the style of the nineteenth century novelists and their themes: desire, guilt, pleasure. Pastoral landscapes alternate with those of the inner city and the past's interaction with the present is acted out by ghosts. The dead father haunts his son; in real life Vinny haunts her sister; and the whole novel is haunted by one of its great earliest exponents, Charlotte Bronte, and her passionate search for creative fulfilment.
'Michele Roberts is one of those writers, descended perhaps as much from Monet and Debussy as Virginia Woolf or Keats ... To read a book by her is to savour colour, sound, taste, texture and touch as never before' The Times 'Michele Roberts writes some of the most sensual prose around in contemporary fiction ... You do not just read the book, you also smell and see the action' Penelope Lively, Spectator 'There are passages in this book evoking the heat and indolence of a sun-drenched French summer that make you sweat just reading them' (Sunday Times) "Roberts is such a fine writer - one of those languorous word-painters who crafts every sentence with loving care - marvellous to read ... she excels at texture, giving apparently simple scenes a warm sensual glow" Sunday Telegraph "Beautifully depicted settings ... textured, sensual writing" Sunday Express Magazine
Half-English and half-French, Michele Roberts was born in 1949. DAUGHTERS OF THE HOUSE (1992) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the W.H. Smith Literary Award.