PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
Mr Richard Whitestone is English and a successful businessman based for many years in Oporto. Despite his many years’ residence in Portugal, he remains resolutely English in his tastes and in his accent. His favourite reading is Tristram Shandy, which he reads and re-reads constantly. A widower for many years, he lives with his children Jenny and Carlos. Jenny is the angel of the house and wise beyond her 21 years. Carlos is 18 and much given to carousing with his friends and to falling – very briefly – in love with whichever pretty girl he sees. He is the despair of his father, but his sister believes in him despite all, because she knows he has a good heart. One day, during Carnival, Carlos meets a young woman at a masked ball and falls in love. As ever, the path of true love runs very erratically indeed.
Júlio Dinis is sometimes referred to as the Portuguese Trollope, and this, the first novel he wrote is a keen-eyed evocation of the narrow world of nineteenth-century bourgeois Oporto, but also, and more importantly, it is a brilliant account of family life, in all its flawed beauty.