Framed by the two General Elections which returned Mrs Thatcher to power, The Line Of Beauty is set over four extraordinary years of change and tragedy.
This outsider's journey into the heart of the beautiful and seductive world of the social elite bristles with emotion, drama and social commentary. Full of style and wit, it is a richly textured coming-of-age story set in London during a ruthless decade.
The Line Of Beauty charts the relationship between Nick Guest, a gay, middle-class boy with a passion for Henry James, and the Feddens, a rich Tory family from Notting Hill.
Nick meets Toby Fedden at Oxford and is attracted to him, so he is thrilled when he is invited to live with Toby's family when university ends.
During a hot summer in London, Nick befriends Catherine, Toby's manic depressive sister, and falls in love with Leo, a black, socialist council worker.
He becomes entranced by the powerful, privileged life led by the Feddens and their friends - a life untouched by the stark realities of 80s Britain: vast unemployment and the rise of AIDS.
But even the high-class, comfortable world of the Feddens and their social circle has cracks running through it - cracks that will profoundly affect Nick's life.