Author(s): Charlotte Mendelson
This is the extraordinary new novel from the Orange Prize shortlisted author of When We Were Bad. Home is a foreign country: they do things differently there. In a tiny flat in West London, sixteen-year-old Marina lives with her emotionally delicate mother, Laura, and three ancient Hungarian relatives. Imprisoned by her family's crushing expectations and their fierce unEnglish pride, by their strange traditions and stranger foods, she knows she must escape. But the place she runs to makes her feel even more of an outsider. At Combe Abbey, a traditional English public school for which her family have sacrificed everything, she realises she has made a terrible mistake. She is the awkward half-foreign girl who doesn't know how to fit in, flirt or even be. And as a semi-Hungarian Londoner, who is she? In the meantime, her mother Laura, an alien in this strange universe, has her own painful secrets to deal with, especially the return of the last man she'd expect back in her life. She isn't noticing that, at Combe Abbey, things are starting to go terribly wrong.
"'Mendelson's novels are perfectly balanced observations of human nature captured in all its hideous glories. As intelligent as it is funny, her writing is brilliant... A joy' Viv Groskop, Observer"
Charlotte Mendelson's last novel, When We Were Bad, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and was chosen as a book of the year in the Observer, Guardian, Sunday Times, New Statesman and Spectator. She is also the author of Love in Idleness and Daughters of Jerusalem, which won both the Somerset Maugham Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Almost English is her fourth novel.