From the author of I Capture the Castle and The Hundred and One Dalmatians, an unusual adventure in which humour and more than a touch of strangeness are inextricably blended.
When Jane Minton arrives at Dome House as a secretary-housekeeper, she finds herself sharing the comfortable country home of four attractive young people. Their charming widower father, Rupert Carrington is too occupied with his London business to see very much of them. Richard, the eldest, is a composer; Clare, whose true talents (if they can be called that) have not yet disclosed themselves, dreams of courtly romance; Drew is collecting material for a novel; and Merry, still at school, has her heart set on a stage career. Jane is warmly welcomed into this happy household and feels her luck is too good to be true.
However, the private world of Dome House is fated to break up as Rupert flees England under threat of prosecution for fraud. He asks Jane to break the news to the children, who must now fend for themselves, and to do what she can to help them. However, the Carringtons are extremely unusual young people and the story of the eclectic choices they make next is an absorbing and unpredictable one.
Born near Manchester, Dodie Smith was already smitten by the theatrical bug by the time she entered St Paul's Girls School in London. After training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she went on to become a remarkably unsuccessful actress. Later she became a playwright and this time achieved considerable acclaim. She achieved enduring success with her first novel, I Capture the Castle, which was recently voted #82 in 'the nation's 100 best-loved novels' as part of the BBC's Big Read. Her children's book The Hundred and One Dalmatians was made into a cartoon film by Walt Disney.