The Flight of the Maidens
By Jane Gardam
(Plume, Paperback, 9780452283343, 288pp.)
Publication Date: June 25, 2002
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It is the summer of 1946, a time of clothing coupons and food rations, of postwar deprivations and social readjustment. In this precarious new era, three young women prepare themselves to head off to university and explore the world beyond Yorkshire, England. The bookish Hetty Fallowes struggles to become independent of her overbearing mother, Una Vane embarks on a bicycle trip around the countryside with a young man from the wrong side of the tracks, and Liselotte Klein, a Jewish refugee taken in by a Quaker family, heads to London in search of her only relatives to survive the Nazis.
As the three struggle to find meaning and love in a new world, they realize that they still have much to learn, and that their friendship is perhaps the only constant in an ever-changing world.
Jane Gardam has twice won the Whitbread Award, for The Hollow Land, and Queen of the Tambourine. She is also the author of God on the Rocks, which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and most recently, Faith Fox.