A bewitching tale of the loves that comfort and the longings that haunt us. With sly humor, exquisite dialogue, smooth narrative, and a cast of wholly original characters, this new book by the widely acclaimed novelist and Booker-Prize nominee A. L. Barker explores the legendary Cornish forest and examines the human heart. At the Belle Chasse, a dilapidated seaside hotel on the tip of magical Cornwall, chaos slinks behind the limited amenities, as its weekend guests soon discover - among them, a second-rate artist who's driven a malfunctioning car across England to present his ex-wife with a nude he painted of her years before; a lonely child in need of a friend; and a couple in their sixties, Elissa and Owen Grierson, long-married and now plagued by the painful longings of a no longer magical relationship. If these travelers have come to a world haunted by ancient myths of heroic quests and holy grails, they themselves pursue more ordinary dreams as they stumble over their own enigmas and eccentricities in a way that prompted Auberon Waugh to declare that A. L. Barker "writes like an angel and I love her." "It is a glorious occasion to read a new novel by an author born in 1918 and to find it startlingly fresh, daring and instructive." - Times Literary Supplement; "Almost dauntingly fresh - glancing, mercurial, elusive." - The Observer; "Marries the deadpan timing of Kingsley Amis at his driest with a tinge of eerie nature-mysticism that brings Iris Murdoch to mind.... Hot, sparkling, exciting." - The Independent.