The Queen of the Tambourine Author:Jane Gardam With prose that is vibrant witty and off-the-wall, The Queen of the Tambourine traces the emotional breakdown and eventual restoration of Eliza Peabody, a smart and wildly imaginative woman who has become unbearably isolated in her prosperous home in present-day South London. — The letters Eliza writes to her neighbor, a woman whom she hardly kno... more »ws, reveal the story of her self-propelled descent into madness. Eliza must reach the very bottom of her inner downward spiral before she can once again find health and serenity. The story of a woman's confrontation with the ideas and realities of sanity, The Queen of Tambourine will delight readers who enjoy the works of Anita Brookner, Sybille Bedford, Muriel Spark, and Sylvia Plath.« less
I found this one to be a terrific read as a (classic British) farce; it's only late in the book did it become apparent that the neighbors' concern wasn't so "misplaced" as it'd seemed. Deus-ex-machina(ish) ending wrapped things up a bit *too* neatly, but Gardam is a real pro at combining the characters, setting, and plot structure into a book I really didn't want to end.