Caroline's Bikini by Kirsty Gunn

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Caroline’s Bikini is the long-winded story of Emily loving Evan loving Caroline – and although it might seem unlikely, given the convolutions of the writing, it turns out to be a really superb, very readable novel. I suppose I am, you know, hopelessly in love with it.
-Guardian

Synopsis

'Alright' I said, 'I'll try...' This is how Emily Stuart opens her intricate tale of a classic love affair that becomes Caroline's Bikini: a swirling cocktail of infatuation, obsession, and imagination.

The moment that Emily's friend Evan Gordonstone - a successful middle-aged financier - meets Caroline Beresford - a glamorous former horsewoman, and now housewife, hostess, and landlady - there is a 'PING!' At least, that's how Evan describes it to Emily when he persuades her to record his story: the story of falling into unrequited love, which is as old as Western literature itself. Thus begins a hypnotic series of conversations set against the beguiling backdrop of West London's bars, fuelled in intensity by endless G&Ts and Q&As. From the depths of mid-winter to July's hot swelter, Emily's narration of Evan's passion for Caroline will take him to the brink of his own destruction.

Written in a voice so playful, so charismatic, and so thoughtfully aware of the responsibilities of fiction it can only be by Kirsty Gunn, Caroline's Bikini is a swooning portrait of courtly love - in a modern world not celebrated for its restraint and abstraction. Ready. Steady. Go!

 

About Kirsty Gunn

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Published June 19, 2018 by Faber & Faber.
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Caroline's Bikini
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Toby Litt on Jul 19 2018

Caroline’s Bikini is the long-winded story of Emily loving Evan loving Caroline – and although it might seem unlikely, given the convolutions of the writing, it turns out to be a really superb, very readable novel. I suppose I am, you know, hopelessly in love with it.

Read Full Review of Caroline's Bikini | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Anthony Cummins on Jun 26 2018

Yet by the end of Gunn’s bold and brainy enterprise, it’s hard to escape a sense that the book’s ratio of charm to exasperation depends chiefly on your level of animus towards avant garde fiction’s squarer cousin, the “contemporary realist novel” that Emily reckons can “go hang”.

Read Full Review of Caroline's Bikini | See more reviews from Guardian

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