The Beautiful Visit
All the longing, excitement and poignant comedy of adolescence are captured in Elizabeth Jane Howard's first novel The Beautiful Visit, about a young girl growing up in the years around the First World War.
Life had been distinctly lacking in possibilities – until The Visit. But, ever afterwards, just remembering the smell of the Lancings' house would enrapture her, taking her back to that very first day when Lucy and Gerald had picked her up from the station . . .
Beginning and ending with a visit to the same family, it is a novel full of love, loss, and the ever-lasting effect of war.
Interesting and original . . . Howard has true imagination and a kind of sensuous power. She creates a wonderful atmosphere of uneasiness and oppression; she can also draw scenes with ironic brilliance: hers seems to me to be a remarkable talent.
Antonia White, New Statesman