Do you dare open the pages to these suburban nightmares? The Virago Modern Classics Suburban Nightmare bundle includes:
In a sweltering basement in downtown Baltimore, Mavis Halleton, writer, ventriloquist and gossip, is struggling to write her novel when an unexpected invitation arrives. The Garretts, a couple Mavis has never heard of but who admire her work, are to spend time in Italy and offer the use of their airy home in the Berkeley hills.
During her stay, an earthquake hits northern Italy and Mavis, to her surprise, inherits the house. But, surrounded by museum replicas and tasteful imitations, she finds reality itself is on shaky ground.
In this highly inventive novel, reality, fiction and dreams are woven together as Janet Frame playfully explores the process of writing fiction.
Edith Howland's diary is her most precious possession, and as she is moving house she is making sure it's safe. A suburban housewife in fifties America, she is moving to Brunswick with her husband Brett and her beloved son, Cliffie, to start a new life for them all. She is optimistic, but most of all she has high hopes for her new venture with Brett, a local newspaper, the Brunswick Corner Bugle.
As Edith Howland's life becomes harsh, her diary entries only become brighter and brighter. Life seems full of promise, and indeed, to read her diary, filled with her most intimate feelings and revelations, you would never think otherwise. Strange, then, that reality is so dangerously different . . .
Growing up in Edwardian South London, Alice Rowlands longs for romance and excitement, for a release from a life that is dreary, restrictive and lonely. Her father, a vet, is harsh and domineering; his new girlfriend brash and lascivious. Alice seeks refuge in memories and fantasies, in her rapturous longing for Nicholas, a handsome young sailor and in the blossoming of what she perceives as her occult powers.
A series of strange events unfolds that leads her, dressed in bridal white to a scene of ecstatic triumph and disaster among the crowds on Clapham Common. The Vet's Daughter is a uniquely vivid, witty and touching story of love and mystery.
Seventeen-year-old Alan can't stand rows. But, though the Second World War has ended, peace hangs by a fine thread at home: his troublesome sister Madge creeps off for night-time liaisons with a German POW; their ineffectual father - broken by the hardships of war and an unhappy marriage can't put food on the table despite the family's middle-class manners.
Meanwhile, his mother pursues her escapist fantasies in romantic novels and love affairs. Obedient, faithful Alan is trapped among them all, the focus of their jibes and resentment, as inexorably the family heads towards disaster.
Beryl Bainbridge's classic early novel is a vintage story of English domestic life, laced with sadness, irony and wicked black humour.