Gwen, a bold and spirited young English artist, defies convention and sets out to study in Paris, where she has a tumultuous affair with the inspiring, controlling sculptor Rodin. But as the relationship cools, Gwen feels lonely and adrift as she awaits the ever more infrequent visits from her lover. Attempting to restore her artistic vision and recapture her true self, Gwen pours out her soul onto a canvas, creating an intimate painting of a quiet corner of her attic room.
Lost, found, stolen, sold, and fought over, the painting enchants all who possess it. First it falls into the hands of Charlotte, a dreamy intellectual with artistic leanings–though little talent. In turn the work finds its way to the lovely, bright Stella; the destitute but willful Lucasta; self-sufficient Ailsa; and, finally, young, curious Gillian. All of whom long for a tranquil golden place such as the one depicted in the painting, a haven where they can “keep the world away.”
Praise for Keeping the World Away:
“Evocative . . . an apparently simple yet potent work of art.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“Highly recommended . . . One small painting, a still life of a corner of an attic room, is the thread that ties this moving novel together.”
–Library Journal (starred review)
“It is the painting’s power to evoke tranquility that Forster so effectively celebrates.”
“Haunting . . . revealing . . . exquisitely drawn.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“An intimate, subtly crafted, satisfying read.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Suspense & Thrillers eBook: Keeping the World Away|
|Release Date: 07-03-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Keeping the World Away|
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Keeping the World Away
The wind pushed and forced them along, great savage gusts of it, stinging their ears, penetrating their scarves, whipping their uncovered hair into fierce tangles, slicing through their coats and chilling their small bodies so completely they were crying and gasping for breath before they ever reached the steps. Gwen fell. She tried to take the steps two at a time but the wind unbalanced her and she tripped, clutching in vain at the iron handrail. Thornton hauled her up, half-dragging her to the door where Winifred, lifted up there by Gus, already cowered. Gus had set her down and stood with his back to the door, his eyes closed, his arms spread wide to welcome the wind, and a smile on his face.
All four of them, gathered together at last, hammered on the big solid door, thumping it with their fists, rattling the letter box and yelling to be let in. The door swung violently back, the weight of the wood for once unequal to the powerful thrust of the gale-force wind. Closing it, as soon as they were safely inside the hall, took their combined strength. Eluned had not stayed to help. The children collapsed on the tiled floor, pulling at their outdoor garments, removing their boots, which were still thickly caked with mud and under no circumstances to be worn in the rest of the house. Winifred lined the boots up, taking pleasure in the task. On stockinged feet, they pattered down the stairs into the kitchen, eager for the hot milk awaiting them. Thornton and Gus drank greedily, and even Winifred sipped hers quickly. Gwen held her mug tightly, wanting its outer warmth on her hands, but not its contents. One mouthful was enough. The rest she would give to the cat,