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Grace and Favor Hardcover – November, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (November 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312171064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312171063
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,492,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The elements are all here?an English country manor house, a hunting party, a large staff of faithful servants, and a typically dysfunctional family. These combine to provide the backdrop for a novel of financial intrigue. John Brook, a Harvard MBA, has come to London via Hong Kong and has married into the British aristocracy. Securely ensconced in his wife's family, he is planning a corporate takeover that will increase their wealth enormously. But just as the players come together and the deal is put into play, Brook's brother-in-law and his fiancee are killed in a car crash. The crash and its repercussions cast doubt on everyone's motives regarding the deal, and Brook's marriage hangs in the balance. Too many characters and a labyrinthine plot line create some confusion, but these quibbles pale as the reader is drawn into Brook's spiraling nightmare. Recommended for larger fiction collections.?Barbara Love, Kingston P.L., Ontario
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A sort of transatlantic Dallas, in which Caplan (Parallelogram, 1987, etc.) portrays a sophisticated young American who climbs high enough on the social ladder to see just how foolish he's been. John Brooks, the son of a prominent Washington journalist, has made his way through all the right schools and a stint in Vietnam to land in Hong Kong as a merchant banker. Hired away by a rival firm, John then moves to London and eventually marries Julia Cheviot, daughter of the Marquess of Castlemorland. One of the richest estates in England, Castlemoreland comes complete with stately home, farms, and parklands. John, meanwhile, is working with Julia's brother Rupert on a big deal that he expects will make them very rich indeed once it goes through. But suspicions begin to creep in. A snatch of conversation overheard during the night leads John to believe that Julia and Rupert share some secret, and John's unsuccessful attempts to get at the truth directly--this is England, after all--make him wonder what he might have gotten into. Some very complicated banking arrangements take John first to Zurich, then to Liechtenstein, and on his return he finds his wife and children gone and no one willing to give him a straightforward explanation for their disappearance. Is Julia having an affair? Has John been set up by Rupert? Just how suspicious were the suspicious circumstances of a friend's death? What exactly is this videotape that Julia wants to get back? And why do the English always snicker at these little private jokes that no American can ever get? By the time John realizes how far he's into the labyrinth, the reader has begun to despair of his ever making it out again alive. A trifle precious overall: Far too much time is spent setting up an essentially simple story with little to distinguish it. Could have been told just as intelligibly in half the pages--and more enjoyably in a quarter. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

THOMAS CAPLAN is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. In addition to THE SPY WHO JUMPED OFF THE SCREEN, he is the author of three novels: Line of Chance; Parallelogram; and Grace and Favor. He was a founder and former Chairman of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and is currently board member emeritus of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, which is based at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. He lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and travels frequently abroad, especially to England.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Grace and Favor is an intriguing novel and well worth the read. Mr Caplan captures well the sense of anxiety that besets those of us who attempt to wend our way through the thicket of English society. It is, as Mr Caplan's character John Brook might have admitted, something of an emotional roller-coaster as one is alternately assured of one's place and then reminded that one is at best a tolerated temporary visitor. The popular usage of `grace and favour' refers to large country estates, the use of which is granted to high government officials during their time in office. Chequers, for example, is the `grace and favour' estate of the Prime Minister; and a snap election could displace the occupant from a `grace and favour' estate less than four weeks after the dissolution of parliament. The title seems meant to evoke the sense in which John Brook feels he is only present at Castlemorland by the grace and favour of his wife and her family. The book is a sensitive and reflective exploration of Brook's search for a sense of belonging more permanent than a 'grace and favour' situation can allow.
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