Helen Grant is a mystery to her daughter. An extrovert with few friends who has sought intimacy in the wrong places; a twice-divorced mother-of-two now living alone surrounded by her memories, Helen (known to her acquaintances as ‘Hen’) has always haunted Bridget. Now, Bridget is an academic in her forties. She sees Helen once a year, and considers the problem to be contained. As she looks back on their tumultuous relationship – the performances and small deceptions – she tries to reckon with the cruelties inflicted on both sides. But when Helen makes it clear that she wants more, it seems an old struggle will have to be replayed.
The murdered man had been an agent – once, long ago. But George Smiley’s superiors at the Secret Service want to see the crime buried, not solved. Smiley will not leave it at that, not when it might lead him all the way to Karla, the elusive Soviet spymaster – ‘Smiley’s People’ is a thrilling confrontation between one of the most famous spies in all fiction and his Cold War rival, Karla.
Alone and adrift in London, Peach is heading into her mid-40s with nothing to show for her youthful promise but a stalled art career and a stopgap job in a Mayfair gallery she’s been doing for a decade. She is too smart and independent to believe her unhappiness will be cured by a relationship and a baby, too sad and lonely to break her cycle of drunken hook ups and nervous breakdowns. She is too young to feel this tired, and far too old to feel this lost. When Peach is woken one night with news that her father, who has Alzheimer’s disease, is in intensive care, she can no longer outrun the summer of secrets and sexual awakenings that augured twenty-five years of estrangement from her family. Now, as they all gather in the hospital, past and present collide, forcing Peach to confront the consequences of her actions and inactions throughout the years.
A literary novel which follows present-day narrator Mathilda’s fixation with the forgotten black Scottish modernist poet, Hermia Druitt, ‘Lote’ is an exploration of aesthetic, beauty, and the ephemeral realm in which they exist.