Molly & the Captain
From the award-winning author of Curtain Call, Freya and Our Friends in Berlin comes a sweeping story of art and love through the lens of a single painting
'An intricate, moving novel... Quinn's best book to date' - Observer
'Every sentence he produces is a joy' - Metro
'Opens up timeless themes of family, success and love' - New Statesman
'Quinn is an intelligent analyst of the uncertainties of love and art' - Sunday Times
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, its fate destined to echo down the centuries, touching many lives.
In the summer of 1889 a young man sits painting a line of elms in Kensington Gardens. One day he glimpses a mother at play with her two daughters and decides to include them in his picture. From that moment he is haunted by dreams that seem to foreshadow his doom.
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 of "Molly & the Captain". Meanwhile friendship with a young musician stirs unexpected passions and threatens to tear the family apart.
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. What weighs more, loyalty to one's talent or loyalty to one's blood? Does self-sacrifice ennoble the soul or degrade it? And what does it mean to speak of the past when its hold on the present is inescapable?
Through Anthony Quinn's signature gifts - period subtlety, intricate characterisation and storytelling verve this triptych novel melds three families and three centuries into a single vision of human frailty and longing.