Synopses & Reviews
A SUSPENSEFUL, ASSURED L ITERARY DEBUT THAT EXPLORES THE DARK SIDE OF DESIRE AND AMBITION THROUGH ONE WOMAN’ S UNLIKELY ENTRY INTO A N ELITE WORLD AND A DESTINY OF HER OWN DESIGN
ON A BITTER WINTER’ S NIGHT, Frances Thorpe comes upon the aftermath of a car crash and, while comforting the dying driver, Alys Kyte, hears her final words. The wife of a celebrated novelist, Alys moved in rarefied circles, and when Frances agrees to meet the bereaved family, she glimpses a world entirely foreign to her: cultured, wealthy, and privileged. While slowly forging a friendship with Alys’s carelessly charismatic daughter, Frances finds her own life takes a dramatic turn, propelling her from an anonymous existence as an assistant editor for the books section of a newspaper to the dizzying heights of literary society.
With her unforgettable protagonist, author Harriet Lane draws readers into a tightly paced tale that careens towards an audacious ending. Transfixing, insightful, and unsettling, Alys, Always drops us into the mind of an enigmatic young woman whose perspective on a glamorous world also shines a light on those on the outside who would risk all to become part of it.
"Lane's wry debut delves into the political machinations of London's literary scene. While driving home one night, Frances Thorpe comes upon an overturned car. She stays with the injured driver, the middle-aged Alys Kyte, until help arrives. Alys dies on the scene, and Frances realizes she's heard the woman's last words. When Alys's family pursue Frances for closure, she learns that Alys was the wife of bestselling author Laurence Kyte. As an assistant at the books desk of a failing newspaper, Frances is familiar with his work, and a little starstruck. Talking to Frances seems to comfort the Kytes, particularly Polly, Alys's college-bound daughter. As Frances spends more time with the family, the literati take note. What began as a dutiful visit to a grief-stricken family blooms into opportunity, and Frances quickly finds herself juggling ambition with honest affection for the Kytes, which becomes greatly more complicated when her attraction to Laurence turns out to not be entirely one-sided. Lane outlines Frances's slow evolution from doormat to mercenary with dry humor and a sincere, if less than reliable, narrator. Agent: Grainne Fox, Fletcher & Company. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Harriet Lane has worked as an editor and writer at Tatler and the Observer. She has also written for the Guardian, the Telegraph, and Vogue. She lives in London, England. Alys, Always is her first novel.