The Sandcastle

The Sandcastle

Iris Murdoch

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0140014748

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A sparklingly profound novel about the conflict between love and loyalty

The quiet life of schoolmaster Bill Mor and his wife Nan is disturbed when a young woman, Rain Carter, arrives at the school to paint the portrait of the headmaster. Mor, hoping to enter politics, becomes aware of new desires. A complex battle develops, involving love, guilt, magic, art, and political ambition. Mor’s teenage children and their mother fight discreetly and ruthlessly against the invader. The Head, himself disenchanted, advises Mor to seize the girl and run. The final decision rests with Rain. Can a “great love” be purchased at too high a price?

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Hensman had briefed Evvy about quantity as well as quality of wine. He felt an extreme need of alcohol, and spent a vain moment wishing that he were altogether elsewhere with Hensman and the guitar. The soup and fish were good. The meat was only middling, but it mattered less as there was a good deal of red wine to wash it down with. Mor heard one of the Governors asking the name and year of the wine and approving of the answer. Evvy had evidently been well schooled by someone, doubtless

What sort of life do you think I have now, or would have even if I were an M.P.? You’ve made me exist for the first time. I began to be when I loved you, I saw the world for the first time, the beautiful world full of things and animals that I’d never seen before. What do you think will hop-pen to me if you leave me now? Don’t abandon me. Don’t do such a wicked thing. Don’t!’ He reached up his hand towards her. She leaned forward and took it in a strong grip. They paused for a moment, pressing

happened?’ said Mor at last. ‘Nothing happened,’ said Demoyte. ‘She went on painting for two or three hours after you left her. Then she came back here and packed all her things, and went away in the car. Mor turned towards Demoyte. The old man looked ashy grey with his sleepless night. Behind him near the wall Mor saw a square of colour. It was the portrait, which stood on the floor, ropped against one of the bookcases. Mor did not let himself look at it. ‘Is she coming back?’ he asked

round-necked summer dress. Tim fixed the diamonds round her neck and stood back to look. The necklace was impressive, but Mor thought it looked out of place. Nan hurried forward to look at herself in the mirror which was fixed behind one of the counters. ‘Diamonds have no mercy,’ said Tim, ‘they will show up the wearer if they can. But you have nothing to fear from them. A queen is the one who can wear them, and a queen you are.’ He was looking over her shoulder into the mirror. He often talked

for a moment in the distance the glowing walls of Brayling’s Close, he uttered to himself the word ‘Rain’. At a tremendous pace, pedalling madly now to catch up with the speed of the wheels, he plunged onward. He turned the bicycle, without dismounting, across the grassy strip in the middle of the dual carriageway, and launched it like a thunderbolt into Demoyte’s drive. The gravel flew to both sides like spray. He fell off the machine and threw it to the side of the house and then cannoned

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