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Published on Mar 4, 2012
height of Europe's belle epoque, about a handsome young man in his mid-twenties—a golden boy who secures a position as a tutor in the household of one of the most prominent bourgeois families in Amsterdam and his entry into a world of moneyed glamour and dangerous temptations. Piet Barol, blue-eyed, dark-haired, seductive and seductively charged, enters this magnificent world, and inexorably learns the hidden truths of this vastly rich, secretive family and, through the course of the novel, is profoundly transformed as his charm and sexual pull transform each of their lives. In the heady exhilaration of this new world, amid delights and temptations that Piet has only dreamed of, he discovers that some of the intimacies he has cultivated are dangerous liaisons indeed
Richard Mason was born in South Africa and lives in Glasgow. His first novel, The Drowning People, which the New York Times Book Review called "a literary sensation," was published when he was twenty-one and still a student at Oxford. It sold more than a million copies in Germany alone and won Italy's Grinzane Cavour Prize for Best First Novel. He is also the author of the novel, Natural Elements, which The New Yorker called "a magnum opus." In 1999, Mason started the Kay Mason Foundation, which awards scholarships to disadvantaged students in South Africa.