Even happy days come to an end. In this remarkable collection, Cressida Connolly explores the lives of children and young people who find themselves split in two. A conversation on a trip to the zoo heralds the end of a family; a boy watches his father fold Aunt Rose into his arms and loses his vocation; a young girl grows jealous of the attention paid to her dying sister.Examining familiar emotions--love, loss, jealousy, loneliness--with a fresh eye, The Happiest Days is an exciting, original, startling debut.
Like the better-known Mitfords, the Garman sisters took center stage in Bohemian London during the first half of the twentieth century. Beautiful, flamboyant, and headstrong, they broke away from middle-class conventions, seducing and inspiring a generation of artists. Kathleen, an enigmatic artist's model and aspiring pianist, was the lover and, later, wife of controversial American-born sculptor Jacob Epstein. Mary married the maverick poet Roy Campbell, whose verse attack on the Bloomsbury group following Mary's affair with Vita Sackville-West was the literary scandal of the epoch. Lorna, the youngest and most beautiful of the sisters, was the lover of both the painter Lucian Freud and the poet Laurie Lee. The Rare and the Beautiful offers the first portrait of a beguiling band of eccentric siblings who possessed an uncanny ability to turn heads, break hearts, and spark creative genius. Set against the exciting backdrop of London's decadent subculture, it evokes their extraordinary milieu of high culture, drama, and scandal.
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