On a secluded hillside in Jamaica lies Firefly, Noel Coward's peaceful retreat. Here, between sundowners and sunsets, brandies and cigarettes, the seventy-one-year-old Coward whiles away his days - a comforting, frustrating pattern of unwanted breakfasts, reluctant walks, graceless dips in the pool - in the company of his manservant Patrice. Both of them dream of a London that is long-gone or imagined: Noel's peopled with glamorous friends - Redgrave, Olivier, O'Toole - and Patrice's a picture-postcard vision of elegance and opportunity. Set over a series of summer days in the early 1970s, Firefly flits through Coward's dreams and memories, his successes and regrets, against a sultry, seductive backdrop of blue skies and glistening water. Colourful and contemplative, this is a moving and poignant portrait of old age and friendship, and a life well lived.
A short, sparkling novel about the twilight years of Noel Coward's life, by the author of Angel of Brooklyn.
"What a lovely, clever book! Beautiful, wistful, just right" Julian Clary "Beautiful... This moving novel pays tribute to a great talent as the curtain comes down, in prose that lingers like the echo of a good bay-side martini" Independent "Quietly witty and remarkable in portraying the slipping away of mind and body that comes with old age" -- Michael Dirda Washington Post "Perfectly formed" -- Mark Sanderson Sunday Telegraph "Firefly shimmers with all the passion and transcience of life" Telegraph
Born in Bolton in 1965, Janette Jenkins studied acting before completing a degree in Literature and Philosophy and then doing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she was in Malcolm Bradbury's final class, along with Toby Litt, John Boyne, Richard Beard and Bo Fowler. She is the author of the novels, Columbus Day, Another Elvis Love Child, Angel of Brooklyn and Little Bones. Her short stories have appeared in newspapers and anthologies, including Stand Magazine, and have been broadcast on Radio 4. In 2003 she was awarded an Alumni Fellowship by the University of Bolton. She lives in the city of Durham.