The Queen of the Tambourine

Jane Gardam,

The Queen of the Tambourine
 
 
Winner of the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel of the Year: “Gardam’s portrait of an insanely imaginative woman in an elusive midlife crisis is impeccably drawn” (The Seattle Times).

With prose that is vibrant and witty, The Queen of the Tambourine traces the emotional breakdown—and eventual restoration—of Eliza Peabody, a smart and wildly imaginative woman who has become unbearably isolated in her prosperous London neighborhood. The letters Eliza writes to her neighbor, a woman whom she hardly knows, reveal her self-propelled descent into madness. Eliza must reach the depths of her downward spiral before she can once again find health and serenity. This story of a woman’s confrontation with the realities of sanity will delight readers who enjoy the works of Anita Brookner, Sybille Bedford, Muriel Spark, and Sylvia Plath.

“Excellently done . . . Manic delusions have never been so persuasive . . . Very moving when it is not being exceedingly funny.” —Anita Brookner, award-winning author of The Debut

“British author Gardam, who won the Whitbread Award for this jigsaw puzzle of a novel, keeps up the suspense to the end, writing like a sorceress in the meantime.” —The Seattle Times

“Brilliant.” —The Sunday Times

“An ingenious, funny, satirical, sad story . . . Vivid and poignant.” —The Independent on Sunday

“Wickedly comic . . . masterly and hugely enjoyable.” —Daily Mail

“Marvelously subtle and moving.” —The Times (London)


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