Grace Kilmichael, the well-known painter, is running away. She’s escaping her husband, and his wandering eye, her bullying grown-up children, and the tiresomeness of being herself.
En route to Split and Dubrovnik, Grace travels through Paris and Venice, and to the glories of Torcello. Here she meets Nicholas – fascinating, rebellious, completely unsuitable (and half her age). Thrown into turmoil by their relationship, it is not until Grace arrives in the remote, unspoilt beauty of the Illyrian coast, among the wildflowers and peaceful villages, that she can truly begin to find enlightenment.
Both farcically funny and full of wisdom, this is a classic novel of escape and rediscovery, set against the glorious Illyrian spring.
‘Excellent . . . at once romantic and tough, absurd yet realistic, escapist yet down-to-earth.’ – Jenny Uglow
‘This is the most intelligently escapist novel – and scandalous for its time. What astonishes is its freshness. Reading it is like taking a holiday – although it is a serious sentimental education too.’ – Kate Kellaway
‘It still makes the perfect holiday read.’ – Lady Magazine
‘Few people can evoke the spirit of a place more vividly than Ann Bridge.’ – Linda Kelly