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Sweet Caress: The Many Lives of Amory Clay - William Boyd

Sweet Caress: The Many Lives of Amory Clay - William Boyd

Title: Sweet Caress

Author:  William Boyd

ISBN:  9781408867976

Weight:  990 g

Delivery:  Plus a £1.15 add-on [weight and/or ins.]

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Sweet Caress by William Boyd

Amory’s first memory is of her father standing on his head.  She has memories of him returning on leave during the First World War.  But his absences, both actual and emotional, are what she chiefly remembers.  It is her photographer uncle Greville who supplies the emotional bond she needs, and, when he gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography, unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future.

A spell at boarding school ends abruptly and Amory begins an apprenticeship with Greville in London, living in his tiny flat in Kensington, earning two pounds a week photographing socialites for the magazine Beau Monde.  But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi monde of Berlin of the late 20s, to New York of the 30s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War where she becomes one of the first women war photographers.  Her desire for experience will lead Amory to further wars, to lovers, husbands and children as she continues to pursue her dreams and battle her demons.

In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera lens of one unforgettable woman, Amory Clay.  It is his greatest achievement to date.

Peer & Press Reviews

Boyd is a brilliant novelist.  Sweet Caress is an audacious, sweeping, rich layer cake of a novel, at once a textual hall of mirrors and a brilliant tale of a life well lived.

Elizabeth Day, Observer

Boyd is at his best in this sweeping story of a woman photographer on a quest for love and artistic expression, taking in jazz-age Berlin, 1930s New York and wartime London and France.

The Lady

Sweet Caress is a rattling good “what will happen next?” story and, on another level, a meditation, in fiction, on women and the lens…  “Caress” is just the right word for the feel of this novel.  Boyd deals with heavy themes with the lightest touch.  We’re lucky to have him writing for us.

John Sutherland, Times

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title Sweet Caress
Subtitle The Many Lives of Amory Clay
Book Features
Edition / printing First edition, first printing
Overall condition Fine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
Signed On the title page
Awards and Media
Awards and prizes

The International Dublin Literary Award 2017 – longlist

Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2016 – shortlist

Media adaptation BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime: ten 15-minute episodes, Mon-Fri at 10:45pm from 21 Sep 2015.
Book Stats
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Imprint Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date
Printed by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon
ISBN 13 9781408867976
Format Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages 448
Size (h x w x d) 241 x 162 x 42mm
Packed weight 1.217kg [heavy book]
Image and Design Credits
Author photograph Marzena Pogorzaly
Design David Mann
Jacket photograph Nina Leen © Getty Images

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