The Line of Beauty (2006)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Nick Guest
as Gerald Fedden
as Rachel Fedden
as Cat Fedden
as Wani Ouradi
as Toby Fedden
as Leo Charles
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Well acted BBC drama of a time of great change in England, one of the problems is that most of the characters are so unsympathic and unlikeable that its difficult to engage with the story and the ending is awfully abrupt,
Set in the United Kingdom in the early to mid-1980s, the story surrounds the post-Oxford life of the young gay protagonist, Nick Guest.
As the novel begins, Nick moves into the household of the Fedden family, comprising his friend, crush, and fellow Oxford graduate Toby; Toby's eccentric sister Catherine; their wealthy and aristocratic mother, Rachel; and their Thatcher-obsessed father, Gerald, a newly-elected MP for the Conservative Party. Nick remains a guest in the Fedden home until he is expelled at the end of the novel. Nick has his first romance with a black council worker, Leo, but a later relationship with Wani, the son of a rich Lebanese businessman, illuminates the ruthlessness of 1980s Thatcherite Britain.
The book explores the tension between Nick's intimate relationship with the Feddens, in whose parties and holidays he participates, and the realities of his sexuality and gay life, which the Feddens accept only to the extent of never mentioning it. It explores themes of hypocrisy, homosexuality, madness and wealth, with the emerging AIDS crisis forming a backdrop to the book's conclusion.
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