Relative Successes

A. L. Barker
Date Published
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An awkward and solitary boy at school, James Jessel is surprised to find himself befriended by the impetuous, self-assured Waldo Klein, and bemused by Waldo’s invitation to spend the holidays with him and his mother (a ‘ravishing beauty’, warns Waldo) in the south of France.

On the Klein’s ramshackle farm in the hills of Provence, Jessel experiences the single most important event – or sensation – of his life. The voluptuous and sensual Mrs Klein is a creature whose sexuality and presence leaves Jessel dumbfounded. He is entranced, and senses a magic he has never known before.

When, many years later, Waldo disappears leaving no clue to his whereabouts, Jessel’s ordered world is overturned once more. If he is ever to know magic again, he must find Waldo, and so he returns to France to confront his past – and, indeed, his future.

A. L.Barker

A. L. Barker (1918-2002) was a short story writer and novelist. Born in St Paul’s Cray, Kent, she lived in the same milieu where London borders on Kent and Surrey, for the rest of her life. As her Oxford DNB entry says it was ‘the chief setting for her work, which often seemed to partake of the quotidian mysteriousness and…

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A. L.Barker
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