In the Dark, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (4 ratings)


From the bestselling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 1916.

Pretty Eithne Clay runs a ramshackle South London boarding house with the help of her teenage son, Ralph, and their maid, Winnie.

Struggling to keep herself, her lodgers, and her son going as every day life vanishes in the face of war, Eithne's world is transformed by the arrival of Mr Turk, the virile, carnal, carnivorous local butcher who falls passionately in love with her.

As the house bursts to life with the electricity - metaphorical and real - he brings, dark secrets come to light.


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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Enjoyable read with interesting use of language and imagery- very masculine, almost brutal feel to the book in places. Atmosphere and tone of London during the first world war are well evoked.

Review by

Set during the traumatic period of the First World War, ‘In the Dark’ tells the story of the people left at home, including those who profited from the conflict. Eithne Clay, along with her son, Ralph, and maid, Winnie, struggles to run the boarding house which they share with a variety of somewhat unconventional lodgers. Understandably, maintaining normality in the face of the war is difficult, and all their lives are altered irrevocably with the arrival of Neville Turk, the lusty and imposing butcher, who falls in love with Eithne. While so many face only death and despair, Eithne and Neville begin a relationship that affects not only Eithne’s son but the whole of the boarding house. This novel is both enjoyable and accessible, perhaps because it deals with the everyday life and decisions that faced those who remained at home during the war. Occasionally, the text feels a little clunky, especially with some touches which seem present only to flesh out characters during the early stages of the novel. The relationship between Eithne and Neville seems slightly unconvincing, simply because Neville seems to have very few redeeming qualities, except perhaps that he’s attractive and can supply all sorts of goods. However, Eithne’s obsession with Neville is extremely well written, the desire and passion that she feels for this man is so completely demonstrated that, what ever the reasons for her loving him, we understand the profound way in which he touches her life.Ultimately, ‘In the Dark’ was pleasurable to read and by the end of the novel many of the characters had become more than just words on the page, especially the overworked and lovable Winnie who has many worries to cope with. This is a novel not about the War, but a novel about people. Although many aspects of war affect these characters lives, Deborah Moggach has created a world in which their relationships with one another are more important.

Review by

World War I as seen from back home in London, through the eyes of various inhabitants of a boarding house. As always, Deborah Moggach writes with tremendous wit and lively description. Up there with the best of her books.

Review by

I'm an avid fan of Deborah Moggach and this, her latest novel, doesn't disappoint. As one reviewer from the Mail on Sunday said, "the book exudes quiet excellence." Considering the story is about meat, sex and war, I was pleased to not have to sit through any Danielle Steel-style grimy, sweaty, meaty sex scenes. Ms Moggach's prose is indeed quite vivid and refined, she is a great storyteller. I enjoyed In the Dark so much that I just bought Tulip Fever and Hot Water Man and I'm looking forward to sticking my nose in both of them.

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