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About the book
  • Published: 3 August 2015
  • ISBN: 9781784700522
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $12.99

The Camomile Lawn (Vintage Summer)


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HERE COMES A VINTAGE SUMMER

Escape your daily grind with Vintage Summer Classics. Get away from the sound and the fury,

far from the madding crowd. Recline on Chesil Beach and take a dip in the sea, the sea.

Be you in Havana or a town like Alice, these are books to transport you to a lawn,

or the sea with a sailor or Captain, when ordinary life falls from grace.

'"I would give myself, darling, if it would do any good, but who am I? I love money and a good time, I'm enjoying the war, I find it exciting and frightening. I enjoy the raids, I like all the men taking me out"'

Behind the large house, the fragrant camomile lawn stretches down to the Cornish cliffs. Here, in the dizzying heat of August 1939, five cousins have gathered at their aunt's house for their annual ritual of a holiday. For most of them it is the last summer of their youth, with the heady exhilarations and freedoms of lost innocence, as well as the fears of the coming war.

The Camomile Lawn moves from Cornwall to London and back again, over the years, telling the stories of the cousins, their family and their friends, united by shared losses and lovers, by family ties and the absurd conditions imposed by war as their paths cross and recross over the years. Mary Wesley presents an extraordinarily vivid and lively picture of wartime London: the rationing, imaginatively circumvented; the fallen houses; the parties, the new-found comforts of sex, the desperate humour of survival - all of it evoked with warmth, clarity and stunning wit. And through it all, the cousins and their friends try to hold on to the part of themselves that laughed and played dangerous games on that camomile lawn.

  • Pub date: 3 August 2015
  • ISBN: 9781784700522
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $12.99

About the Author

Mary Wesley

Mary Wesley was born near Windsor in 1912. Her education took her to the London School of Economics and during the War she worked in the War Office. She also worked part-time in the antiques trade. Mary Wesley lived in London, France, Italy, Germany and several places in the West Country. She used to comment that her 'chief claim to fame is arrested development, getting my first novel published at the age of seventy'. That first novel, Jumping the Queue, was followed by a subsequent nine bestsellers: The Camomile Lawn, Second Fiddle, Harnessing Peacocks, The Vacillations of Poppy Carew, Not That Sort of Girl, A Sensible Life, A Dubious Legacy, An Imaginative Experience and Part of the Furniture. Mary Wesley was awarded the CBE in the 1995 New Year's honour list and died in 2002.

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