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The Girl on the Landing by Paul Torday

The Girl on the Landing

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The author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has produced another beautiful novel, he certainly seems to be on a roll. In this story a man struggles with his identity, is he going mad or only now truly discovering himself? Family secrets, relationships and lifestyle are all questioned. A great book to get discussion going, perfect for reading groups.

If you like Paul Torday you might also like to read books by Colin Bateman, Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes.


The Girl on the Landing by Paul Torday

The novel begins as Michael, a middle-aged man of means, is dressing for dinner at a friend's country house in Ireland. As he descends the grand staircase, he spots a small painting of a landing with an old linen press and the white marble statue of an angel. In the background is a woman clad in a dark green dress. During dinner, Michael comments on the painting to his hosts but they say there is no woman in the picture. When Michael goes up to bed later, he sees that they are correct.

This is only the first in a series of incidents that lead Michael to question his grip on reality. His wife Elilzabeth is unsettled by the changes she sees in a man she originally married because he was dependable and steady, not because she loved him. Suddenly she is aware that she has never really known Michael and as he changes, she sees glimpses of someone she could fall in love with. Michael, in the meantime, is disturbed by events at his family's ancestral home in the wilds of Scotland and by a past that he is threatening to destroy everything, and everyone, he has ever loved.

About the Author

Paul Torday

Paul Torday was our Guest Editor in April 2012 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Paul Torday was born in 1946 and read English Literature at Pembroke College, Oxford. He spent the next 30 years working in engineering and in industry, after which he scaled back his business responsibilities to fulfil a long-harboured ambition - to write. He burst on to the literary scene in 2006 with his first novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, an immediate bestseller that has been sold in 25 countries. Paul Torday died in 2013.

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Book Info

Publication date

19th February 2009


Paul Torday

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Orion Publishing Co




Literary Fiction
Family Drama
Reading Groups
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