Isobel English, a novelist of the 1950s, wrote three brief books about adultery and damnation admired today by Muriel Spark and Beryl Bainbridge. Every Eye concerns Hattie, a woman not really at home anywhere, least of all among her manipulative family, which has assigned her the role of shabby-genteel London spinster. She has understood little about her existence, and about her strange, aborted love affair with a much older man – the central mystery of her life. Now, while in Ibiza with her new young husband, the meaning of her past is becoming clear, its hidden patterns emerging from gray English shadows into the blazing Mediterranean sun. “It is in Ibiza that the story breaks free from its resentments,” said Anita Brookner in praise of this remarkable neglected novel, “a lucidly written account of various kinds of confusion … and a valuable lesson in where to look for freedom.”
This is writing as good as it gets. . . . A beautiful, beautiful novel. Read it twice.
—Debra Murphy, Catholic Fiction.net
A wonderfully idiosyncratic, compressed exploration of identity, vision, and will.
—Valerie Sayers, Commonweal Magazine
Isobel English is a perfectionist, crafting aphoristic sentences as if she were doing an etching. . . Every Eye is full of paradoxes and tonal dissonances.
—Ed Block, America Magazine
English’s writing is both dead-on and gorgeous.
—Benjamin Healey, The Atlantic Monthly
Every Eye is a stunning discovery. Isobel English combines Woolf’s observation of the hollows of English life, Austen’s astute measuring of the game between the sexes, and an eye for detail that expands into a surreal poetry that is all her own.
—City Lights staff pick
Every Eye provides a wonderful opportunity for American readers to become acquainted with the entrancing voice of a truly original writer.
—Merle Rubin, Wall Street Journal