The Time in Aderra

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Untouched by the ravages of war and the politically volatile atmosphere, the Villa della Pace remains an island of European society in the tiny British Protectorate of Aderra. Its circle religiously maintain their rigid social calendar and allow nothing, save the death of King George VI, to interfere with their pleasures. But the flawless surface of their lives conceals a turmoil of deception and desire . . .

Flo has just left school in England and is flying out to spend the summer with her mother Lydia, and step-father Harry, who, as head of the British Administration, must oversee the forthcoming handover to indigenous rule. Lydia is determined that this year Flo will have the summer of her life, just as she herself did years earlier in Nairobi. And believing she can relive her youth through unworldly Flo, Lydia devises a plan for her daughter's social debut - even providing a man. But she little suspects the intensity of emotion behind Flo's quiet façade, nor the irrevocable impact her presence will have on the whole community over those few stifling months . . .

A powerful and beautifully written novel by Ann Schlee at her very best.

About Ann Schlee

Ann Schlee is a novelist whose work includes Ask Me No Questions (1976), The Vandal (winner of the 1978 Guardian Award for young fiction) and Rhine Journey, which was short-listed for the 1981 Booker Prize. Many of her novels are set in the past, but in surroundings which she knows well: London, or those parts of Africa which she remembers from childhood. Jane Gardam, writing about The Time in Aderra (1996), says: 'She writes historical novels that are more advanced, more interested in feminism, for instance, than her contemporaries who write of the twentieth century... Ann Schlee's wider vision is adventurous and sunlit'. Ann has taught English in the UK and America, and worked for many years with adults in creative writing and memoir classes at Morley College in London and Rewley House in Oxford. She has judged in a number of literary competitions including the Somerset Maugham Award, the David Higham and the Booker. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2007. Ann now lives in Berkshire with her husband, the painter Nick Schlee.

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Books by Ann Schlee

Rhine Journey
Rhine Journey
The Proprietor
The Proprietor