A Perfect Explanation by Eleanor Anstruther


A “superb debut”* novel—based on the story of the author’s grandmother—following an aristocratic woman who abandons her family and her money in search of a life she can claim as her own. (*The Guardian)

In stock

SKU: 9780358120858 Categories: , ,


Enid Campbell—granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll, of Inveraray Castle—grew up surrounded by servants, wanting for nothing except love. But when her brother died in the First World War, a new heir was needed, and it was up to Enid to provide it.

A troubled marriage and three children soon followed. Broken by postpartum depression, overwhelmed by motherhood and a loveless marriage, Enid made the shocking decision to abandon her family, thereby starting a chain of events—a kidnap, a court case, and the sale of a son—that reverberated through the generations.

Interweaving one significant day in 1964, when it seems the family will reunite for one last time, with a decade during the interwar period—and shot through with an intimate view of the English aristocratic class—A Perfect Explanation gets to the heart of what it is to be bound by gender, heritage, and tradition; to fight, to lose, and to fight again. Eleanor Anstruther’s spare, pitch-perfect prose captures a twentieth-century woman who had everything and nothing, and who, in willfully defying the conventions of her time, sacrificed all for a life to claim as her own.

A Perfect Explanation by Eleanor Anstruther