Absolutely adored this. Rose Tremain gives us a wonderful character rich, complex love story set in 1960's UK. Marianne is a victim of her extreme passion, fanciful nature and a general communication disconnection with her parents. Her obsession for her first love Simon becomes her ultimate undoing. Beautifully written, the story is funny, observant, frustrating but rings very true in the context of its environment and times.
The Englishness of the boarding school, the conservative parents, the elegant young South Kensington things flaunting their trademark glamour are so transporting the novel really lives and breathes. I can recommend this to everyone and anyone new to the exceptional talent of Rose Tremain should go back and read Music and Silence and The Road Home.
Marianne Clifford, teenage daughter of a peppery army colonel and his vain wife, falls helplessly and absolutely for eighteen-year-old Simon Hurst, whose cleverness and physical beauty suggest that he will go forward into a successful and monied future, helped on by doting parents. But fate intervenes. Simon's plans are blown off course, he leaves for Paris and Marianne is forced to bury her dreams of a future together.
It is Marianne who tells this piercing story of first love, characterising herself as ignorant and unworthy, whilst her smart, ironic narration tellingly reveals so much more. Finding her way in 1960s Chelsea, and supported by her courageous Scottish friend, Petronella, she continues to seek the life she never stops craving. And in Paris, beneath his blithe exterior, Simon Hurst continues to nurse the secret which will alter everything.
How do you find the courage to make your own life? An electrifying novel about first love set in 1960s London and Paris from multiple bestseller, Rose Tremain
'I can't think of any novel that has described the anguish, comedy and intensity of first love as well as Absolutely & Forever ... this may be her masterpiece' Amanda Craig
A piercing short novel of thwarted love and true friendship from one of our greatest living writers
How do you find the courage to make your own life?
'There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain' John Boyne
'One of my favourite writers' Nina Stibbe
'Tremain is one of the best novelists writing today' Sara Collins
'Pulsatingly alive. . . no one can break your heart quite like this' Neel Mukherjee
'Rose Tremain's fiction is my gold-standard' Charlotte Mendelson