Alys, Always by Harriet Lane
A Novel

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The novel has the momentum of a thriller but not at the expense of an economical lyricism – there is a lovely assurance to the writing.
-Guardian

Synopsis

From the author of Her, a suspenseful, assured literary debut that explores the dark side of desire and ambition through one woman's unlikely entry into an elite world and a destiny of her own design.

On a bitter winter's night, Frances Thorpe comes upon the aftermath of a car crash and, while comforting the dying driver, Alys Kyte, hears her final words. The wife of a celebrated novelist, Alys moved in rarefied circles, and when Frances agrees to meet the bereaved family, she glimpses a world entirely foreign to her: cultured, wealthy, and privileged. While slowly forging a friendship with Alys’s carelessly charismatic daughter, Frances finds her own life takes a dramatic turn, propelling her from an anonymous existence as an assistant editor for the books section of a newspaper to the dizzying heights of literary society.

With her unforgettable protagonist, author Harriet Lane draws readers into a tightly paced tale that careens towards an audacious ending. Transfixing, insightful, and unsettling, Alys, Always drops us into the mind of an enigmatic young woman whose perspective on a glamorous world also shines a light on those on the outside who would risk all to become part of it.
 

About Harriet Lane

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Harriet Lane has worked as an editor and writer at Tatler and the Observer. She has also written for the Guardian, the Telegraph, and Vogue. She lives in London, England. This is her first novel.
 
Published June 12, 2012 by Scribner. 222 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Alys, Always
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Jonathan Dee on Jul 12 2012

Written in the present tense, Lane’s breezy, lacerating first novel is less a cynical exercise than a deeply nostalgic one...

Read Full Review of Alys, Always: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Kate Kellaway on Dec 16 2012

The novel has the momentum of a thriller but not at the expense of an economical lyricism – there is a lovely assurance to the writing.

Read Full Review of Alys, Always: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Phil Mongredien on Mar 03 2012

As she inveigles herself deeper into the Kyte family's trust, you find yourself constantly reassessing her character. This deeply unsettling but eminently readable story is one that will linger in the memory.

Read Full Review of Alys, Always: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Globe and Mail

Below average
Reviewed by Kathleen Byrne on Aug 08 2012

Alys, Always is not flawless; the ending is not quite believable...and Lane’s symbols at times groan, so freighted are they...

Read Full Review of Alys, Always: A Novel | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Reader Rating for Alys, Always
68%

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