Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
by Molly Keane, introduction by Amy Gentry
Behind the gates of Temple Alice the aristocratic Anglo-Irish St. Charles family sinks into a decaying grace. To Aroon St. Charles, the large and unlovely daughter of the house, the fierce forces of sex, money, jealousy, and love seem locked out by the ritual patterns of good behavior. But crumbling codes of conduct cannot hope to save the members of the family from their own unruly and inadmissible desires.
I really wish I had written this book. It’s a tragi-comedy set in Ireland after the First World War. A real work of craftsmanship, where the heroine is also the narrator, yet has no idea what is going on. You read it with mounting horror and hilarity as you begin to grasp her delusion.
A fine novel, wickedly alive.
—Victoria Glendinning, The Sunday Times
Dark, complex, engaging . . . a wonderful tour de force.
I have read and re-read Molly Keane more, I think, than any other writer. Nobody else can touch her as a satirist, tragedian, and dissector of human behaviour. I love all her books, but Good Behaviour and Loving and Giving are the ones I return to most.
—Edna O’Brien, The Observer
An extraordinary tour de force of fictional presentation . . . a masterpiece . . . a technically remarkable work, as sharp as a blade. . . . Molly Keane is a mistress of wicked comedy.
A witty, black comedy of manners, Good Behaviour is a memorable novel by an Irish writer whose only equal is Elizabeth Bowen.