We That Are Left

by Clare Clark

The captivating story of two sisters born into privilege, forced to make their way in a world turned upside down by war, and the man who, against all expectation, transforms them both.

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780544129993
  • ISBN-10: 0544129997
  • Pages: 464
  • Publication Date: 10/13/2015
  • Carton Quantity: 12

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About the Book
About the Author
  • About the Book
    Two sisters, born into privilege, are forced to make their way in a world turned upside down by war. One man transforms them both. 


    1910. Jessica and Phyllis Melville have grown up at Ellinghurst, a family estate fraught with secrets. A headstrong beauty, Jessica longs for London — the glitter and glamour of debutante life — while bookish Phyllis dreams in vain of attending university. Into their midst walks Oskar Grunewald, a frequent visitor fascinated by the house but alternately tormented and ignored by the Melville children. Oskar seeks refuge in Ellinghurst’s enormous library.  Meanwhile Theo, the adored Melville brother, eclipses everyone around him. 


    The Great War arrives to devastate and reshape their world. In a country unrecognizable from the idylls of their youth, the Melville sisters struggle to forge new paths without the guidance of the old rules. But Oskar’s life has become entwined with theirs once again, in ways—both immediate and unimaginable-- that will change all of their futures. 


    With elegance and insight, in prose characteristically “stirring and seductive” (The Economist) Clare Clark brings us a new story of a kind of old family whose reckoning with change will haunt and resonate for many generations.

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  • Reviews
    A New York Times Editors' Choice 

    A Washington Post "Notable Fiction Book of 2015" 


    “[A] lavishly detailed historical novel that doesn’t just recreate the past but alters your perception of it...Clark’s descriptive powers provide deep pleasure.”—Michael Upchurch, New York Times Book Review  


    “As always, [Clark's] environments are deliciously luxe…With splendid breadth and depth, We That Are Left accommodates an era’s worth of historical reverberations within the confines of its highly polished rooms.”—Washington Post 


    "Clark reminds us that one of the pleasures of reading historical fiction is meeting characters whose thoughts are their own but also mirror the wrongdoings and legacies of their time...Vivid, layered, and provocative period drama about the trade-offs of backing tradition versus letting go." 



    "Deftly evoking the faded glory of the British gentry while weaving an intricate love story with an unlikely twist, acclaimed English writer Clark (Beautiful Lies, 2012) presents a historically rich, psychologically rewarding tale of heritage and romance." 



    "Clare Clark's novel of the dislocations that befall an aristocratic English family during and right after World War I is beautifully written and enjoyable...Clark's novel does its forebears proud, for We That Are Left  is engrossing...the characters are vivid and her feel for place is equally superb." 



    "We That Are Left is still haunting me. It offers an utterly convincing sense of period; a story that tugs at you; characters who are surprising, tender, hurt; emotions crushed, misunderstood, exploding; on every page the unresolved intensity of real life." 

    —William Nicholson, author of Lovers of Amherst


    “What a gorgeous, brilliant, heart-smacking book!  I am in awe of its stunning scale.” 

    —Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome