It is the summer of 1983, and young Nick Guest, an innocent in the matters of politics and money, has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious new Tory MP, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their children Toby and Catherine. Nick had idolized Toby at Oxford, but in his London life it will be the troubled Catherine who becomes his friend and his uneasy responsibility. At the boom years of the mid-80s unfold, Nick becomes caught up in the Feddens' world. In an era of endless possibility, Nick finds himself able to pursue his own private obsession, with beauty - a prize as compelling to him as power and riches are to his friends.
Alan Hollinghurst is the author of three novels, The Swimming-Pool Library, The Folding Star and The Spell. He had received the Somerset Maugham Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for FIction, and he was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994. He lives in London.