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This remarkable debut novel is a vibrant tale of beauty and passion, stalked by desolation. Katherine Bucknell captures the tragedy of a marriage on the brink with extraordinary delicacy and insight and draws us into a compelling world glittering with wealth and social prestige.
David is an investment banker; Elizabeth, his wife, is a woman of peerless beauty and refinement. They have two children; their marriage seems perfect. Why does she want him to retire and move home to America? One summer evening David, alone in their empty mansion, receives a phone call from a long-lost friend. So begins a tale about friendship, marriage and betrayal that is filled with unexpected reversals.
Canarino is a portrait of intimate relationships set in a world of privilege and achievement. Its characters possess personal gifts in dazzling abundance, yet their appetites to succeed, to be exceptional, tempt them to risk everything. How can we recognise love and friendship? Which are the bonds that bind people longest? What is the cost for the heart of seeking perfection?
Like the drink of the title – boiling water over a twist of lemon peel – the prose has a sharp, delicate clarity. Beneath its polished surface lie psychological depths both uncanny and haunting. Canarino is a novel that lingers in the mind, long after the final page has been turned.
Praise for ‘Canarino’:
'A remarkably vigorous and subtle first novel: it is written with commanding authority and is impressively accomplished. The plotting is bold and alluring. The characters are vividly realised, forensically examined…beautifully observed. The writing throughout is spare and punctilious.' Independent
'A memorable debut.' Observer
'An artistic triumph.' Sunday Telegraph
'An impressively structured novel.' Spectator
'A sharp, pacily written examination of a marriage in slow motion.' Time Out
'Superbly draws a secure, unquestioned world and its subsequent downfall. There is much to admire in the writing.' Times Literary Supplement
'Divorce, money, sexy men and classy prose. Chick lit for clever girls.' Style Magazine, Sunday Times
About the author
Katherine Bucknell was born in Saigon and grew up in Washington, D.C. She is a literary scholar and the editor of ‘Juvenilia: Poems 1922-1928’ by W.H. Auden and of ‘Diaries Volume One, 1939-1960’ and ‘Lost Years: A Memoir 1945-1951’ both by Christopher Isherwood. Her novels are ‘Canarino’, ‘Leninsky Prospekt’, and ‘What You Will’. She lives in London with her husband and their three children.