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Mistletoe Malice

Kathleen Farrell

$22.99

Paperback

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English
Faber & Faber
07 November 2023
A dysfunctional family reunites for the Christmas holiday from hell in this rediscovered festive classic with fangs for fans of Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Taylor and Stella Gibbons.

'Literary comfort and joy. It got me out of mourning for the Cazelet Chronicles.' -Meg Mason (author of Sorrow and Bliss)

'A stylish and penetrating comedy of manners. My favourite Christmas book by far - and you can read it all year round.' -Rachel Joyce (author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry)

'A horribly delicious snapshot of post-war family life, in which tensions ensnare the reader in tinsel-covered barbed wire.' -Janice Hallett (author of The Appeal)

The fire is on, sherry poured, presents wrapped, and claws are being sharpened. In a seaside cottage perched on a cliff, one family reunites for Christmas. While snow falls, a tyrannical widowed matriarch presides over her unruly brood. Her niece tends to her whims, but fantasises about eloping; and as more guests arrive, each bringing their secret truths and dreams, the Christmas tree explodes, a brawl erupts, an escape occurs - and their 'midwinter madness' climaxes ...

By:  
Imprint:   Faber & Faber
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 17mm
Weight:   243g
ISBN:   9780571378265
ISBN 10:   0571378269
Pages:   288
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kathleen Farrell was born in London in 1912 and educated at a convent school. Her first book, Johnny's Not Home from the Fair (1942), was written while working for the wartime secretary-general of the Labour party, after which she founded a prestigious literary agency, eventually sold to a rival firm. Farrell lived in Hampstead for twenty years with her partner Kay Dick - reviewer, editor and author of They (1977) - in a literary circle including Ivy Compton-Burnett, Stevie Smith and Olivia Manning. She wrote stories as well as five more novels - Mistletoe Malice (1951), Take It to Heart (1953), The Cost of Living (1956), The Common Touch (1958), and Limitations of Love (1962). Farrell's fiction was critically acclaimed for its savage wit and unsentimental humour, compared to Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Bowen, but failed to find a popular audience, and - by the time of her death in Hove in 1999 - she had fallen into obscurity.

Reviews for Mistletoe Malice

"""A horribly delicious snapshot of post-war family life, in which tensions ensnare the reader in tinsel-covered barbed wire."" Janice Hallett, author of The Appeal ""A stylish and penetrating comedy of manners. My favorite Christmas book by far - and you can read it all year round."" Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry"


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