The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam
Second in the Old Filth trilogy. “An astute, subtle depiction of marriage . . . absolutely wonderful” (The Washington Post).
Acclaimed as Jane Gardam’s masterpiece, Old Filth is a lyrical novel that recalls the fully lived life of Sir Edward Feathers. The Man in the Wooden Hat is the history of his marriage told from the perspective of his wife, Betty, a character as vivid and enchanting as Filth himself.
They met in Hong Kong after the war. Betty had spent the duration in a Japanese internment camp. Filth was already a successful barrister, handsome, fast becoming rich, in need of a wife but unaccustomed to romance. A perfect English couple of the late 1940s.
As a portrait of a marriage, with all the bittersweet secrets and surprising fulfillment of the fifty-year union of two remarkable people, The Man in the Wooden Hat is a triumph. Fiction of a very high order from a great novelist working at the pinnacle of her considerable power, it will be read and loved and recommended by all the many thousands of readers who found its predecessor, Old Filth, so compelling and thoroughly satisfying.
“Funny and affecting . . . It’s remarkable.”– The New York Times Book Review
“The latest occasion to celebrate Gardam . . . [a] superb novel.”–Maureen Corrigan, NPR
“Told with quintessentially British humor . . . Gardam’s prose is witty and precise.”– Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“It’s magnificent. . . . Funny, intelligent and immensely moving.”– Kirkus Reviews