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Molly & the Captain

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349144290

Price: £9.99

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‘A gripping mystery… sweeping across centuries in its three interlinked sections, Molly & the Captain summons the past effortlessly’ Observer

A celebrated artist of the Georgian era paints his two young daughters at the family home in Bath. The portrait, known as “Molly & the Captain”, becomes instantly famous. In the summer of 1889, a young painter glimpses a mother at play with her two daughters in Kensington Gardens and decides to include them in his picture. A century later, in Kentish Town, a painter and her grown-up daughters receive news of an ancestor linking them to the long-vanished double portrait.

Molly & the Captain is a story about time and art and love. Through the prism of a single painting it examines the mysteries of creativity, and the ambiguous nature of success. With period subtlety, intricate characterisation and storytelling verve, Anthony Quinn melds three families and three centuries into a single vision of human frailty and longing.

‘A delicious mystery’ Daily Mail

‘A thrilling read’ Spectator

‘So versatile – Quinn seems to reinvent himself with every book’ Jonathan Coe

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Truly magnificent... each part is separate and distinct, involving and compassionate, yet all are mysteriously connected... Period details sparkle in this elegant prose... This is Quinn's masterpiece
Sue Gaisford, The Tablet
One of my favourite writers... a breathtakingly ambitious novel that nails the small personal triumphs and tragedies of each woman's life
Sarra Manning, Red
Quinn is an intelligent analyst of the uncertainties of love and art
Sunday Times
Poignant, involving, beautiful and thoroughly entertaining... Quinn's best and most ambitious novel yet dances through three centuries, entwines the worlds of theatre and art in a thoroughly seductive embrace, and brings all his considerable gifts into play... This is a novel packed with pleasures
Christobel Kent, Perspective Magazine
Pleasurable... The novel is a triptych, each part standing alone and quickly establishing its particular note and colour by means of language, carefully chosen detail and a sprinkling of familiar names
Times Literary Supplement
There is a delicious mystery at the heart of this novel
Daily Mail
Quinn is an accomplished writer at ease with the idioms of the past... He is also a subtle creator of character... opens up timeless themes of family, success and love
Michael Prodger, New Statesman
These women's lives are gently and perceptively explored
Antonia Senior, The Times
Gripping historical fiction
Good Housekeeping
[A] beguiling new novel about the mysteries of creativity from master storyteller Anthony Quinn... Every sentence he produces is a joy
A gripping mystery... Sweeping across centuries in its three interlinked sections, it summons the past effortlessly, as a vehicle for a plot that is both intricate and immaculately constructed... Quinn's most ambitious book to date and decidedly his best
Alex Preston, Observer
So versatile - Quinn seems to reinvent himself with every book
Jonathan Coe
Quinn has an artist's eye and can mine drama from even the plainest parlour or afternoon in the park
Strong Words Magazine
Quinn displays an impressive range of expression: the mannered, epistolary style of the early chapters gives way to touches of Victorian gothic, and then to crisp contemporary prose
Kimberley Long, Financial Times
A witty and affecting saga... It delights in exploring tiny, unexpected quirks of character and broad brushstrokes of greater emotion alike, and never fails to entertain
Alexander Larman, Spectator
Quinn's books are unbeatable treats... His latest, a hall of mirrors across three centuries revolving around a single painting, is both about art and irresistibly artful
Dominic Dromgoole
A deft, century-hopping novel... delight[s] in the granular details of an era, as well as a thorough knowledge of its broad sweep
Imogen Hermes Gowar, Guardian
[A] stylish literary triptych... Quinn is a fine writer with an instinctive understanding of the pitfalls of the bohemian life
Mail on Sunday