Magic, love spells, and an enchanted wood provide the materials for one of Shakespeare’s most delightful comedies. When four young lovers, fleeing the law and their own mismatched rivalries, take to the forest of Athens, their lives become entangled with a feud between the King and Queen of the Fairies, resulting in a marvelous mix-up of desire and enchantment, merriment, and farce…
“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” Summering with a fellow schoolboy on a great English estate, Leo encounters a world of unimagined luxury. But the aftershocks will be felt for years when his friend’s beautiful older sister enlists him as the unwitting messenger in her illicit love affair. The inspiration for the brilliant Joseph Losey/Harold Pinter film starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates, The Go-Between is a masterpiece — a richly layered, spellbinding story about past and present, naiveté and knowledge, and the mysteries of the human heart.
Soon to be a Netflix series starring Andrew Scott, Johnny Flynn, and Dakota Fanning, in a chilling literary hall of mirrors, Patricia Highsmith introduces Tom Ripley. Ripley is sent to Italy with a commission to coax a prodigal young American back to his wealthy father. But Ripley finds himself very fond of Dickie Greenleaf. He wants to be like him — exactly like him. Suave, agreeable, and utterly amoral, Ripley stops at nothing — certainly not only one murder — to accomplish his goal. Turning the mystery form inside out, Highsmith shows the terrifying abilities afforded to a man unhindered by the concept of evil.
The unassuming young heroine of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca finds her life changed overnight when she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome and wealthy widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Rescuing her from an overbearing employer, de Winter whisks her off to Manderley, his isolated estate on the windswept Cornish coast — but there things take a chilling turn. She becomes determined to uncover the dark secrets that threaten her happiness, no matter the cost.
“I’m an outsider to the end of my days!” Jude Fawley’s hopes of a university education are lost when he is trapped into marrying the earthy Arabella, who later abandons him. Moving to the town of Christminster where he finds work as a stonemason, Jude meets and falls in love with his cousin Sue Bridehead, a sensitive, freethinking “New Woman.” Refusing to marry merely for the sake of religious convention, Jude and Sue decide instead to live together, but they are shunned by society and poverty soon threatens to ruin them.Jude the Obscure, Hardy’s last novel, caused a public furor when it was first published, with its fearless and challenging exploration of class and sexual relationships.
On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper’s son Robbie Turner, a childhood friend who, along with Briony’s sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of childhood, love and war, England and class, this “tour de force” (The New York Times) is a profoundly moving — exploration of shame and forgiveness and the difficulty of absolution.
An exploration of love and its excesses, missteps, and modest triumphs, from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea, The Sea. In a dark comedy of errors, Iris Murdoch portrays the mischief wrought by Julius, a cynical intellectual who decides to demonstrate through a Machiavellian experiment how easily loving couples, caring friends, and devoted siblings can betray their loyalties. As a puppet master, Julius artfully plays on the human tendency to embrace drama and intrigue and to prefer the distraction of confrontations to the difficult effort of communicating openly and honestly.