Skip to product information
1 of 2

Spreading Fires

Spreading Fires


Book Binding:



Regular price $4.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $4.00 USD
Sale Sold out
Description for SPREADING FIRES by John Knowles:

"Neville came with the house," writes John Knowles, and so begins SPREADING FIRES, the new novel by the author of the now-classic A SEPARATE PEACE. Neville is the cook, and a superb one. Efficient, devoted, and with an endless capacity for work. He never requires a day off, never visits friends. In fact, the villa, Mas Tranquilitat, seems to be his whole life. Improbably, he is Canadian, and for reasons somewhat unclear, is unable to return either to his home country or to England. To Brendan Lucas, a young American diplomat who rents the villa, Neville seems perfect. Though understandably the servant is a bit fearful of the Arabs who lurk in the hills behind the villa and a bit hostile to the tradesmen from whom he buys provisions in town. Brendan has taken the villa for a holiday with his sister Mimi, a truly talented and beautiful ballerina, and her fiance and his friend, Xavier Farel de Dornay. The group is completed by the unexpected arrival of Mrs. Lucas, Brendan and Mimi's widowed mother, a woman of enormous force of character.

Now Neville begins to intrude upon them. He does not wish Mimi to enter his kitchen---ever...A forest fire starts in the dry hills above the villa. Brendan discovers that the orange trees surrounding the villa are hung with thousands of sacks of arsenic to keep off the insects. Brendan insists the poison be removed. Neville complies unwillingly.

Bus it is when Mrs. Lucas arrives that Neville begins to behave in a truly strange way. When she insists on a tour of the villa, Neville becomes uneasy, and when she asks for the key to his room, he refuses with uncharacteristic stubbornness. What follows is a crisis which draws all of them into aspects of themselves that they have always feared to confront.

View full details