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About the book
  • Published: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409020714
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

Ask Alice

A wonderful 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 chances she takes and the secret which will undo her.

Glamorous Alice Keach is one of 1930s London's foremost Society hostesses. Despite humble American origins, she has secured her place in high society through marriage to one of England's wealthiest bachelors.

But Alice has a secret. Its roots run years back, and miles away, to the dust-blasted prairies of Kansas. It corncerns a lost little boy left under the haphazard guidance of an eccentric uncle. Now, a visit from America looks set to blow apart Alice's glittering pre-eminence forever.

  • Pub date: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409020714
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

About the Author

D J Taylor

D.J. Taylor's novels include English Settlement, which won a Grinzane Cavour Prize, Trespass and Derby Day, both of which were long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and Kept: A Victorian Mystery. His other books include After the War: The Novel and England Since 1945, Thackeray, Orwell: The Life, which won the 2003 Whitbread Biography Prize, and Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918–1940. He lives in Norwich with his wife, the novelist Rachel Hore, and their three sons.

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Praise for Ask Alice

“Utterly gripping reading...you are in for a treat”

Literary Review

“DJ Taylor creates characters who have dynamic spirit and capture the imagination, while the story has the tension of a thriller, the sensitivity of a romance and the wit of an idiosyncratic adventure.”

Easy Living

“Ambitious and immensely accomplished ... above all a meditation on selfhood and memory”


“A highly accomplished novel. It is engrossingly plotted, and its depiction of the vibrant decade leading to the 1929 Crash offers an interesting parallel to our own times.”

Simon Humphreys, Mail on Sunday

“Intelligent, absorbing and most enjoyable”

Independent on Sunday

“Excellent ... the impenetrable, imperturbable Alice compels”

Daily Mail

“Carefully constructed sets and a convincing commentary on social change”

Charlotte Moore, Spectator

“mesmerising novel paints pictures of many different worlds in the early 20th century...busting with detail... captivating”

Books Quarterly

“When on song, which he often is here, Taylor is a felicitous, intelligent writer. He sets a scene with admirable clarity, peoples it with memorable characters, and offers a plot that will keep most readers hooked and satisfied for nigh on 350 pages. These days this is rarer than you might think”

Alan Taylor, The Herald

“D J Taylor is remarkably under-appreciated as a novelist.”

Lorna Bradbury, Telegraph

“This special piece of period realism is very far indeed from being either silly or dull.”

Valentine Cunningham, Independent

“Taylor is excellent on the 'incidentals' - arresting tableaux abound - and the impenetrable, imperturbable Alice compels.”

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

“A plot of Victorian complexity handled with great skill”

Allan Massie, The Scotsman Books of the Year

“A gripping page-turner filled with surprises, shocks and deep psychological insight”

Independent on Sunday

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