cover image High Time

High Time

Hannah Rothschild. Knopf, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-53658-2

In this convulsively comic sequel to Rothschild’s House of Trelawney, eight years have passed since Ayesha, the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Trelawney, married older financier Sir Thomlinson Sleet, who bought her the Trelawneys’ decrepit castle. Now, in her husband’s frequent absence, Ayesha takes care of their daughter, Stella, and works to restore the property to its former glory. When Ayesha discovers Sleet plans to divorce her and sell the castle for millions of pounds that, according to her lawyer, she will never see, she embarks on an ingenious plan to buy the castle out from under Sleet. But how can she succeed when she only has £27,000 in the bank? Her complex scheme goes on to affect not only the other eccentric members of the extended Trelawney clan, but also a glamorous bitcoin billionaire married to an Albanian mobster and Sleet’s plan to run for MP on a nativist platform. The author makes Ayesha a virtuous heroine and Sleet a villain well worth hissing. With scenes that are over-the-top hilarious and a sharply satiric view of late-stage capitalism, this plays like a savvy cross between Brideshead Revisited and Succession as written by the Monty Python troupe. (July)