“She lay in bed, listening to the nightingales and the river under her window, and asking herself with a sort of exasperated astonishment whether she could really be falling in love with Nicholas.”
Even though she is a renowned painter Lady Kilmichael is diffident and sad. Her remote, brilliant husband has no time for her and she feels she only exasperates her delightful, headstrong daughter. So, telling no one where she is going, she embarks on a painting trip to the Dalmatian coast of Yugoslavia – in the Thirties, a remote and exotic place. There she takes under her wing Nicholas, a bitterly unhappy young man, forbidden by his family to pursue the painting he loves and which Grace recognises as being of rare quality. Their adventures and searching discussions lead to something much deeper than simple friendship …
This beautiful novel, gloriously evoking the countryside and people of Illyria, has been a favourite since its publication in 1935, both as a sensitive travel book and as [an] unusual and touching love story.
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