A new edition of one of Alice Thomas Ellis's best-loved novels. A beautifully timed comic novel with a hint of the supernatural.
Five strangers gather at Eric's inn on a remote Hebridean island after he advertises in the London weeklies for "Christmas at the edge of the world." Harry, a military widower, is fascinated by General Gordon and the last days of Khartoum. Jessica is a voice-over artist and actress. Jon is a vain actor who is dangerously obsessed with Jessica. Anita, a salesperson in the stationary department of a store and, Ronald, a psychoanalyst who is pining for the cooking and domestic skills of his recently departed wife.
Each has their own reasons for escaping the usual festivities, but the refuge of the island is complicated as Eric's wife Mabel flounces out at the last minute and the locals and visitors mingle and clash.
A beautifully timed comic novel with a hint of the supernatural.
Alice Thomas Ellis, whose real name was Anna Haycraft, was half-Finnish, half-Welsh and spent her childhood in Liverpool and as an evacuee in North Wales. She lived in Camden in North London with her family. Her friend Beryl Bainbridge wrote of her: "Whenever I had to go somewhere in an aeroplane I'd ring Anna up and ask if she thought God would keep it in the air. She always said He would."