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Jane Gardam, author of the Old Filth
Trilogy, delivers another modern classic in The Flight of the Maidens
. With her characteristic wit, Gardam captures a moment in time for three young women on the cusp of adulthood. With keen perception the novel charts the course of this trio as they boldly face their uncertain futures.
It is Yorkshire, 1946. The end of the war has changed the world again, and
emboldened by this new dawning Hetty Fallows, Una Vane, and Lisolette Klein seize the opportunities with enthusiasm. Hetty, desperate to escape the grasp of her critical mother, books a solo holiday to the Lake District under the pretext of completing her Oxford summer coursework. Una, the daughter of a disconcertingly cheery hairdresser, entertains a romantically inclined young man from the wrong side of the tracks and the left-side of politics. Meanwhile, Lisolette Klein, the mysterious Jewish refugee from Germany, leaves the Quaker family who had rescued her, to test herself in London. Although strikingly different from one another, these young women share the common goal of adventure and release from their middle class surroundings through romance and education.
Gardam demonstrates her talent for creating fully realized characters in these venturesome, intelligent young women whose stories are told with delight and understanding. This reissue of The Flight of the Maidens
will appeal to a wide range of adult and young adult readers.