Review

British Import: The Camomile Lawn

Indulge in our latest suggestion for Anglophiles, a racy coming-of-age war saga written by Mary Wesley.

The Camomile Lawn

Photo: The Camomile Lawn. Courtesy of Channel 4 Television Corp.

We’ve already confessed: We’re Anglophiles. But far from admitting we have a problem, we’re just looking for our next quaint British fix.

As we can no longer re-read Pride and Prejudice for the ninth time without insipid comments from friends and family, we decided to look for something with a similar British flavor.

And we’ve found it with Mary Wesley. Her novels are intriguingly dubbed “Jane Austen with sex” and “arsenic without the old lace.” Though she sold a positively shocking number of books in England (about 3 million), she has yet to hop across the pond.

the camomile lawnWe’d like to change that by introducing you to our favorite Wesley read: The Camomile Lawn. The elegant novel set in Cornwall tells the seductive saga of five cousins coming of age during World War II. Throughout, Lady Wesley injects her signature British wit, naughty self-referencing humor, and uses certain four-letter words without inhibition.

And as with all great British fiction, there’s a charming BBC miniseries based on the novel, starring Jennifer Ehle (Lizzie to Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy), which stays true to Wesley’s writing.

Upper-class Brits mucking around in scandal between afternoon tea? We’re hooked.

Download The Camomile Lawn on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble.


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