The 27th Kingdom by Alice Thomas Ellis

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Synopsis

Tucked away in secret chambers in London's Chelsea is the exquisitely mannered world of a Russian migr and her smugly precious nephew. Their insular existence is soon to be disturbed by a ghostly apparition in the shape of a young postulant on leave from a convent in Wales. From these strange trappings Alice Thomas Ellis conjures a darkly comic, surprising fable where the everyday and the otherworldly mingle. No writer is more adept at both describing the curtains that decorate our lives and suggesting what's behind them.
 

About Alice Thomas Ellis

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Alice Thomas Ellis (also writes as Anna Margaret Haycraft), is a novelist and columnist. She was born in Liverpool, England in 1932. She attended Bangor Grammar School and the Liverpool School of Art. Ellis wrote a weekly column for the Spectator from 1985 to 1989 and for the Catholic Herald from 1990 to 1996. She co-wrote two books on juvenile delinquency with psychiatrist Tom Pitt-Atkins. Ellis also wrote A Welsh Childhood, a book recounting the history of Wales and featuring the photographs of Patrick Sutherland. Ellis has written several novels beginning with The Sin Eater in 1977. The novel won the Welsh Arts Council Award. Other novels include Unexplained Laughter which won the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year in 1985 and The Inn at the End of the World which was the winner of the Writer's Guild Award for Best Fiction in 1991. Another novel, The 27th Kingdom, received a Booker Prize Nomination in 1982. She was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature from 1999 until her death in 2005, due to lung cancer.
 
Published January 1, 1982 by Penguin Books Ltd. 160 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Into this household (it includes a cat named Focus, whose mother ate its siblings) enters a beautiful girl named Valentine, postulate at the convent in Wales where Irene's sister Berthe is Mother Superior.

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