Catalogue


Ask Alice : a novel /
D.J. Taylor.
imprint
London : Chatto & Windus, 2009.
description
342 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
070118356X (hbk.), 9780701183561 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
London : Chatto & Windus, 2009.
isbn
070118356X (hbk.)
9780701183561 (hbk.)
catalogue key
6839821
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
1904. A pretty young woman travels apprehensively across the American prairies; on a whim she makes a bold decision, grabbing her future with both hands. A lonely little boy, growing up a world away between-stairs in an Edwardian country house, has his future decided for him by impending war and an old woman who parcels him off to her eccentric brother in the flatlands of Norfolk. A quarter of a century later, in the brightly coloured world of London high life, Alice Keach is queen among society hostesses. Her face stares from every gossip column. Behind her lie a marriage to a wealthy landowner, and a career as a celebrated actress. But Alice has a secret, whose roots run five thousand miles away to that Kansas train-ride, and a chain of connection with the potential to blow her comfortable existence apart. A half-hearted blackmailer making his way across the Atlantic; a watchful teenage boy observing the birth of a lucrative new colour in a Norfolk pigpen; a Bright Young woman coming to terms with an unsatisfactory marriage; a country house party that ends in tragedy; a sensational murder trial: all these are gathered up in the story of Alice's rise and fall. Ranging from the Dakota badlands to the drawing rooms of Mayfair, and from the Norfolk back-lanes to the casting couches of the Edwardian theatre, Ask Alice is a remarkable novel of concealment, subterfuge and revelation, depth-charged with wit and intrigue, and dominated by its characters' gradual awareness that the choices which confront them have the capacity to change their lives.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Guardian UK, May 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
1904. A pretty young woman travels apprehensively across the American prairies; on a whim she makes a bold decision, grabbing her future with both hands. A lonely little boy, growing up a world away between-stairs in an Edwardian country house, has his future decided for him by impending war and an old woman who parcels him off to her eccentric brother in the flatlands of Norfolk. Later, in the brightly coloured world of late 1920s London high life, Alice Keach is queen among society hostesses. Her face stares from every gossip column. Behind her lie a marriage to a wealthy landowner, and a career as a celebrated actress. But Alice has a secret, whose roots run five thousand miles away to that Kansas train-ride, and a chain of connection with the potential to blow her comfortable existence apart. A half-hearted blackmailer making his way across the Atlantic; a watchful teenage boy observing the birth of a lucrative new colour in a Norfolk pigpen; a Bright Young woman coming to terms with an unsatisfactory marriage; a country house party that ends in tragedy; a sensational murder trial: all these are gathered up in the story of Alice s rise and fall. Ranging from the Dakota badlands to the drawing rooms of Mayfair, and from the Norfolk back lanes to the casting couches of the Edwardian theatre, Ask Alice is a wonderful epic novel of concealment, subterfuge and revelation, dominated by its characters awareness that the choices which confront them have the capacity to change their lives for ever. It confirms D.J. Taylor as a novelist of scope, imagination and great writing.
Back Cover Copy
Kept: A Victorian Mystery 'A pageturner of the highest order... a genuine mystery - not a simple whodunnit but a constant revelation of a complex and tight-knit plot' Philippa Gregory, The Times 'A great read. It intrigues, diverts and delights' Susan Hill, Guardian Trespass 'An absorbing book, written with an intelligence and wit that compliments and rewards the reader' John Keenan, Guardian 'Haunting, funny and altogether remarkable' Jane Shilling, Daily Telegraph The Comedy Man 'A masterly reconstruction of a vanished age' Andrew Barrow, Spectator 'Ravishing in its historical sweep...as a state of the nation novel, it is state of the art' Christopher Bray, Mail on Sunday
Back Cover Copy
Kept: A Victorian Mystery‘A pageturner of the highest order… a genuine mystery - not a simple whodunnit but a constant revelation of a complex and tight-knit plot’ Philippa Gregory, The Times‘A great read. It intrigues, diverts and delights’ Susan Hill, GuardianTrespass‘An absorbing book, written with an intelligence and wit that compliments and rewards the reader’ John Keenan, Guardian‘Haunting, funny and altogether remarkable’ Jane Shilling, Daily TelegraphThe Comedy Man‘A masterly reconstruction of a vanished age’ Andrew Barrow, Spectator ‘Ravishing in its historical sweep...as a state of the nation novel, it is state of the art’ Christopher Bray, Mail on Sunday
Main Description
1904. A pretty young woman travels apprehensively across the American prairies; on a whim she makes a bold decision, grabbing her future with both hands. A lonely little boy, growing up a world away between-stairs in an Edwardian country house, has his future decided for him by impending war and an old woman who parcels him off to her eccentric brother in the flatlands of Norfolk. Later, in the brightly coloured world of late 1920s London high life, Alice Keach is queen among society hostesses. Behind her lie a marriage to a wealthy landowner, and a career as a celebrated actress. But Alice has a secret, whose roots run five thousand miles away to that Kansas train-ride, and a chain of connection with the potential to blow her comfortable existence apart. A half-hearted blackmailer making his way across the Atlantic; a watchful teenage boy observing the birth of a lucrative new colour in a Norfolk pigpen; a Bright Young woman coming to terms with an unsatisfactory marriage; a country house party that ends in tragedy; a sensational murder trial: all these are gathered up in the story of Alice's rise and fall. Ranging from the Dakota badlands to the drawing rooms of Mayfair, and from the Norfolk back lanes to the casting couches of the Edwardian theatre, Ask Alice is a remarkable novel that confirms D.J. Taylor as a novelist of scope, imagination and great writing.
Bowker Data Service Summary
A novel of concealment and subterfuge, sweeping from Kansas to London, from 1904 to 1936, by the author of 'Kept' - about a woman's rise and fall, the choices she makes, the chances she takes, and the secret which will undo her.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem