A New York Times–bestselling novel of the lives, loves, and foibles of five generations of a British family occupying a manor house in Wales.
For nearly one hundred and fifty years the Quin family has lived at China Court, their magnificent estate in the Welsh countryside. The land, gardens, and breathtaking home have been maintained, cherished, and ultimately passed along—from Eustace and Adza in the early nineteenth century to village-girl-turned-lady-of-the-manor Ripsie Quin, her children, and her granddaughter, Tracy, in the twentieth.
Brilliantly intermingling the past and the present, China Court is a sweeping family saga that weaves back and forth through time. The story begins at the end, in 1960, with the death of the indomitable Ripsie, whose dream of a life at the grand estate was realized through her marriage to the steadfast Quin brother who loved her—though he wasn’t the one she had always loved.
With thrilling literary leaps across the decades, the story of a British dynasty is told in enthralling detail. It is a chronicle of wives and husbands; of mothers, sons, and daughters; of those who could never stray far from the lush grounds of China Court and the outcasts and outsiders who would never truly belong.
Bearing comparison to One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, Rumer Godden’s novel relates the history of a family with sensitivity, wit, compassion, and a compelling touch of magical realism. A family’s loves, pains, triumphs, and scandals are laid bare, forming an intricate tapestry of heart-wrenching humanity, in a remarkable work of fiction from one of the most acclaimed British novelists of the twentieth century.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.
“The sort of timeless English novel that wears as well as a Burberry and is just as impervious to vagaries of fashion.” —Los Angeles Times
“Her story weaves the rich tapestry of a place and a family, back and forth for five generations. . . . Richly rewarding . . . Those of us who have eagerly seized on each book since Black Narcissus need no enticement.” —Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Rumer Godden
“One of the finest and subtlest writers of our day.” —Saturday Review
Rumer Godden (1907–1998) was the author of more than sixty works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s literature, and is considered by many to be one of the foremost English language writers of the twentieth century. Born in Sussex, England, she moved with her family to Narayanganj, colonial India, now Bangladesh, when she was six months old. Godden began her writing career with Chinese Puzzle in 1936 and achieved international fame three years later with her third book, Black Narcissus. A number of her novels were inspired by her nearly four decades of life in India, including The River, Kingfishers Catch Fire, Breakfast with the Nikolides, and her final work, Cromartie vs. the God Shiva, published in 1997. She returned to the United Kingdom for good at the end of World War II and continued her prolific literary career with the acclaimed novels The Greengage Summer, In This House of Brede, and numerous others. Godden won the Whitbread Award for children’s literature in 1972, and in 1993 she was named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Nine of her novels have been made into motion pictures. She died at the age of ninety in Dumfriesshire, UK.