'Fane writes with clarity, elegance and a wit which raises her interest in amorous foreplay into the Ovidian. Her debut is the most radiant I have seen this year' Amanda Craig, Independent
‘Brings to mind comparisons with Shena Mackay, and, in her hero’s philosophical quest, with early Iris Murdoch.’ Claire Colvin, The Times
Olivia Fane’s entertaining and insightful new novel tells the story of Laura Glass, her husband Hugo - and the lovers who come to stay.
Laura Glass’s life seems perfect. She’s beautiful, wealthy, her husband loves her and their teenage kids Leo and Jemima are at good schools. Then one day Laura’s happiness is shattered when she sees her husband kissing a young woman in a doorway. Some of Laura’s friends tell her to divorce him, others say ignore it. Instead Laura goes off on an adventure of her own with the beautiful young Jed. On their return, seeing that her husband is still continuing his affair, she invites his lover into their home. And Jed too for good measure. For a while the presence of these two young people seems to improve everything. Even Leo and Jemima fall in love with them. Laura and Hugo are hardly bohemians, but Laura tries her best to become one. But can either of them truly throw off their conventional lifestyle and embrace freedom? Or will secrets between the generations cause in impassable rift?
Quite the opposite of a morality tale, POSSIBLY A LOVE STORY is a viciously funny satire on the middle classes and middle-class values, but with a huge heart.
‘Although this looks like chick lit and follows its conventions of structure and narrative, it is in fact a surprising, beautifully written satire on conventional middle-class notions of marriage and romance. Popular and pretty, Laura Glass is a devoted wife and mother with a beautiful home, pots of money and tons of friends. She appears to have the perfect life until, while out shopping, she spots her husband kissing a much younger woman. Some friends advise Laura to divorce her errant man, others tell her to stay. Without giving too much away, it is safe to say she does neither — and the surreal events that ensue are at once hilarious, heartbreaking and thought-provoking. I was gripped from the start, alternately giggling and cringing as Laura’s mad plan goes wildly off-piste.’ Daily Mail
'Love, marriage, sex, power, friendship, jealousy: this book challenged my thinking about all these issues. With the characters’ range of emotions and their errratic behaviour, at times it is very funny and ironic; at other points worrying and sad. My concern for the main protagonists continued after I had finished reading.' Kay Dunbar, Director Ways with Words Festival
‘This is a deceptively light and deliciously subversive exploration of love, sex, marriage and friendship. Olivia Fane has the gift of delivering her acute observations of human frailty and treatment of important themes with a sparkling wit and stylish finish. I loved every moment of it.’ Maggie Hamand, author of The Resurrection of the Body and best-selling Creative Writing For Dummies
'Possibly a Love Story is definitely diverting. The protagonist's progression from bourgeois to Bohemian is delineated with terrific brio as well as Fane's trademark philosophical flair. Slightly disorienting, but hugely entertaining, I read it in two swift sittings.' Isabel Wolff, author of Ghostwritten.
Material: finished copies (244pp)
‘Superbly ingenious – this book will make you think and argue’ Oliver James, author of Affluenza, Office Politics and They F*** You Up
We have all known the heady thrill of a conversation that goes on all night. Once we had opinions on everything but as life becomes more humdrum we often lose that passion. Sometimes we can’t remember what we really think at all.
This brilliant book encourages us all to think anew. Olivia Fane provides the starting points for 66 conversations to be had with a partner, friend, stranger, or simply ourselves. These thought-provoking and provocative short discussions on happiness, vanity, infidelity, education and more, ask you the questions that will help you get to know those with whom you share your life.
Whether you agree, or vehemently disagree, THE CONVERSATIONS provides endless food for thought and a surprising window into some of the big subjects that define who we are and how we live.
'This book is so unusual, and so good, that I want to spend as much time as possible just quoting it.' The Sunday Telegraph
'The charisma of her writing will certainly win her allies, but Fane doesn’t try to impose her belief system on her readers. You will read the book in a single sitting and dip back into it for years to come.' We Love This Book/The Bookseller
‘Full of wisdom about how to live, what it means to be you and how to communicate that knowledge to the people you love.’ Andrew G. Marshall, author of I Love You But I’m Not in Love with You
‘Fane light-heartedly shares her personal experiences of, and opinions about, sometimes serious issues, with at the end of each a couple of questions to talk about. To revive conversation.’ Nederlands Dagblad
Recommended as a gift for the holidays byTrouw
‘Because of the easy applicable starting points for conversation this book in a witty way offers ideas to deepen your relationships.’ Margriet, , the biggest weekly women’s magazine in Holland
‘In a witty way this book gets you going again.’ Flair, large weekly women’s magazine
‘Her book contains witty and wide-ranging topics, followed by surprising questions you can use to debate on together afterwards.’ Happinez, a monthly magazine
‘So say goodbye to that well deserved night’s sleep, because next to getting to know this British author who speaks her mind, the reader receives in ’63 ideeën voor een goed gesprek’ more than enough input for a series of inspiring nights.****’ CultuurBewust.nl
Square Peg/Random House UK
Nieuw Amsterdam NL
Droemer Knaur Germany
Material: finished copies (261pp).
Glorious, passionate, beautiful, uncontrollable Eve is in her early twenties when she checks herself into a mental institution following a series of dramatic events. There she meets Gibson, the gardener who blossoms in Eve’s presence, and, despite the protestations of parents and social workers, they marry. They have a son, Josiah, and bring him up in an unconventional idyll.
But Eve’s determination to home school him brings her to the attention of social services again and her beloved boy is removed from her, her husband collapsing under the strain. Eve reacts by going on an arson spree and is forced to leave the country. Josiah, in a children’s home in Cambridge, meets a professor of Classics and the two form a close bond. They head off on a blissful trip to Italy, but on their return, the professor is arrested and imprisoned on suspicion of abuse. It is left to Josiah’s mother, the irrepressible Eve, to return from her exile to save her son and his friend – and herself.
A deeply moving, highly entertaining tale of family, love, loss and the limits modern society imposes, ON LOVING JOSIAH is also a brilliant satire, full of wisdom and insight. This is Olivia Fane’s best novel to date and it will win her even more acclaim.
'Far more than creating a tale of pedophilic scandal, Fane unearths thorny moral ambiguities, forcing the reader to consider circumstances in which the unthinkable may be the only sound option.' Publishers Weekly
'A contentious subject, thoughtfully tackled' Daily Mail
Arcadia Books UK (WEL)
Nieuw Amsterdam NL
Material: finished copies (315pp).
Patrick German has achieved all his life's ambitions: a lovely wife, a baby son and a prestigious job in publishing. So when, one day, he walks out on all he knows and loves, he is as perplexed as anyone. He runs away to become a primary school teacher in north Norfolk, where he is mesmerised by a ten-year-old girl in his class, Joanna, who has an otherworldly authority about her, possibly even divine. Could she be?
'A very distinctive novel.' Hilary Mantel
'This extraordinary story is told very readably. There is a good spicing of satire and humour. Besides being a good tale, God’s Apology is something of an essay in natural theology.’ The Tablet
Arcadia Books UK (WEL)
Material: finished copies (240pp).
Perdita Tree, the dangerously bored and irresistibly beautiful wife of an MP is kidnapped in Albania. Adored by her kidnapper, Alfred, who believes all things English are perfect, she is persuaded to rescue the Albanians from their dire history, and is vain enough to imagine that she can. The year is 1991, democracy is coming, but are the Albanians ready for it? And are the Albanians ready for Perdita? A beguilingly simple story which considers the nature of love, longing and betrayal, and, above all, the art of being free.
'This book is a delight. I loved it. It is an extremely serious novel, posing as one which is simple and beguiling. It races along at a rate of knots, leaving the reader smiling, satisfied, and impressed.' Fay Weldon
'A captivating book - original, intelligent and very entertaining.’ Isabel Wolff
‘Fane toys with chick-lit conventions, but consistently focuses her smart, fluid prose and sophisticated thought on rendering a thoughtful, sorrowful and often highly amusing novel.’ The Times
Arcadia Books UK (WEL)
Material: finished copies (368pp).