Old Filth - Jane Gardam
2006, 289 pages, UK
Sir Edward Feathers, also called Old Filth (FILTH is an acronym for "Failed in London, Try Hong Kong) finds himself bereft of his beloved Betty in a beautiful house in Dorset at the age of 82. His next door neighbour is a widower as well and a former colleague. There was no love lost between them. But compelled by need they get in touch again and this seems the beginning of an ‘opening of shutters on the past that he (Edward) had kept clamped down.’ He was a Raj orphan brought up by foster parents in Wales. This period in particular left scars on his soul and had a huge impact on the rest of his life. In what way is for the reader to find out. Old Filth is the first of a trilogy and can be read independently. But the following two books might reveal the answers to some unresolved questions.