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 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.
Praise for Ask Alice
Utterly gripping reading...you are in for a treatLiterary 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 memoryGuardian
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 enjoyableIndependent on Sunday
Excellent ... the impenetrable, imperturbable Alice compelsDaily Mail
Carefully constructed sets and a convincing commentary on social changeCharlotte Moore, Spectator
mesmerising novel paints pictures of many different worlds in the early 20th century...busting with detail... captivatingBooks 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 thinkAlan 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 skillAllan Massie, The Scotsman Books of the Year
A gripping page-turner filled with surprises, shocks and deep psychological insightIndependent on Sunday