Coral Glynn

Peter Cameron, Author
Peter Cameron. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25 (210p) ISBN 978-0-374-29901-9
Reviewed on: 01/23/2012
Release date: 02/28/2012
Set in the English countryside in the aftermath of WWII, this quietly compelling sixth novel from Cameron (The Weekend) focuses on the story of the eponymous heroine, Coral, a nurse, sent to Hart House in 1950 to tend the dying Mrs. Hart. With great efficiency, Cameron introduces the other players: Mrs. Hart’s son, Maj. Clement Hart, an embittered veteran wounded in the war; his friend Robin Lofting; the brittle, disapproving housekeeper, Mrs. Prense. But after Mrs. Hart dies, and Major Hart proposes to Coral, this seemingly well-realized homage to the postwar British novel quickly turns almost gothic. Walking in a forest near Hart House, Coral comes across a young girl tied to a tree. She’s being pelted with pinecones by a young boy in a game they call Prisoner. Though she insists they stop, Coral takes no other action; the young girl is later murdered in the same forest; and suspicion—bizarrely—falls upon Coral. The book is suffused with a lonely sadness and an aura of the surreal, and the many dramatic events in Coral’s life are entirely plausible thanks to Cameron’s skill as a storyteller. Agent: Irene Skolnick, the Irene Skolnick Literary Agency. (Mar. 6)
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