Beautiful...richly melancholy like those hot summer days when it is so full of that calm before the Autumn, it quite ravished me. When I read it, the tears stream down my face.' STEVIE SMITH
Celia works at the Ministry in the post-war England of 1949 and lives in a London suburb with her beloved Aunt. Witty, fragile, quixotic, Celia is preoccupied with love -- for her friends, her colleagues, her relations, and especially for her adored cousin Casmilus, with whom she goes on holiday to visit Uncle Heber, the vicar. Here they talk endlessly, argue, eat, tell stories, love and hate -- moments of wild humour alternating with waves of melancholy as Celia ponders obsessively on the inevitable pain of love. In everything she wrote, Stevie Smith's poetic, special eye captured the paradox of pain in all human affections -- nowhere more so than in this wry, strongly autobiographical tale.
Extraordinary handling of conversation always fascinating and recounted with a perfect ear... - GUARDIAN
Those who find them [Stevie Smith's novels] entrancing ... find themselves on a hook which won't let go - PUNCH