It is Amory's photographer uncle, Greville, who gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography and unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future.
Her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demimonde of Berlin of the late '20s, to New York of the '30s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War, where she becomes one of the first women war photographers.
"Serious, provocative, intelligent, Boyd's writing is endlessly open to ideas." (
"His eccentric wit and restless intelligence exert a powerful appeal." ( New York Times)
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I think it is the narrator....
Yes and No. I have a feeling that the story is good, and I am a great admirer of William Boyd. But the narration was about the most annoying performance I have ever experienced. I pushed on to the end, in respect to Mr Boyd, and hoping something would change. But no, every time I switched it on, SO wishing to enjoy it - I just cringed at the reading.
Without doubt, the horrible reading. She made the character of Amory so enormously annoying, shallow and unlikeable. She had this peculiar way of ending every sentence with this sort of 'cute' and usually completely inappropriate impression that she has a broad smile on her face and a stifled giggle. Most bizarre. It seemed also a very light story line - but again, it is so hard to separate it from the narrator who made it all sound so flippant.
Possibly ANYONE else would have been better. But to be more helpful - I thought Barbara Flynn (who read an abridged version on BBC Radio 4) was very good - and it was hearing some of that broadcast that made me want to hear the whole book on Audible.
No, I am sorry - I didn't think so. It may well be worth reading - but it is too late now for me to find out!
I think I've said plenty! - and I am aware that I may be in the minority as other reviews are so good! Therefore - to the person who is considering it - you may find it wonderful!
Not the best Boyd