August 1881: An attractive young married woman, Mabel Todd, arrives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her husband David, recently appointed assistant professor at Amherst College. The treasurer of the college is Austin Dickinson, the most respected citizen of the town, a married man with three children. Austin's sister Emily lives as a recluse in the Homestead, the house next-door to Austin's family. Over the months that follow the Todds' arrival, Austin falls passionately in love with Mabel, and she with him. October 2013: Alice Dickinson, 24 years old, is struggling with her failure to find a boyfriend. At the same time she wants to escape her copy-writing job and make a living as a screenwriter. She takes time off work to research a screenplay on a story that has fascinated her since college days, where a love of Emily Dickinson's poems was triggered by the coincidence of her own surname.The story is the illicit love affair between Austin Dickinson and Mabel Todd. The novel interweaves the stories of these two love affairs: the unfolding one between Alice and Nick, an older man she meets in Amherst, and the original love affair between Austin and Mabel, observed by Emily.
William Nicholson’s acclaimed series of Sussex novels continues with this contemporary story featuring Alice Dickinson. Now in her early twenties, Alice has ambitions to become a screenwriter. She embarks on a research trip to Amherst in Massachusetts to find out more about the love affair between Austin Dickinson, brother of reclusive poet Emily, and the much younger Mabel Todd, a relationship that was of huge significance to the couple and those close to them, and which had great consequences in establishing Emily’s reputation As Alice’s reading suggests something of Emily’s shadowy presence where the lovers were concerned, so she herself becomes involved in a sudden and ill-advised liaison with a much older man. Will fate treat these modern-day lovers of Amherst more kindly than it did Austin and Mabel? Does the ending – in life, as in fiction – really define the story, and what does that mean for Alice?
Publication date: 05/02/2015
Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc
|Publication date:||5th February 2015|
|Publisher:||Quercus Publishing Plc|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,|
William Nicholson was born in 1948, and grew up in Sussex and Gloucestershire. He was educated at Downside School and Christ's College, Cambridge, and then joined BBC Television, where he worked as a documentary film maker. There his ambition to write, directed first into novels, was channelled into television drama. His plays for television include Shadowlands and Life Story, both of which won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award in their year; other award-winners were Sweet As You Are and The March. In 1988 he received the Royal Television Society's Writer's Award. His first play, an adaptation of Shadowlands for the stage, ...More About William Nicholson