The Spoilt City

By Olivia Manning,

Book cover of The Spoilt City

Book description

It is 1940, and Guy and Harriet Pringle and their friends in the English colony in Bucharest find their position growing ever more precarious. The 'phoney war' is over and invasion by the Germans is an ever-present threat. Harriet finds her new husband's idealism clashing with her own more down-to-earth…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Spoilt City as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I could have chosen any of the three in Manning’s Balkan Trilogy, about a young couple who rush to get married on the eve of war and find themselves living first in Romania, then Athens (the setting for this book), and finally Cairo. I love the portrait of Athens in the period before the German invasion: the beauty of Greece in springtime, the shortages of food, the strange collection of people making up the expatriate community, and how the marriage of two young, probably mismatched people, is tried by the constant presences of war and death. The characters who…

From Eliza's list on to immerse you in a wartime setting.

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