Old Filth was a ‘child of the raj’. His earliest memories are of his amah, a teenage Malay girl – not of his mother who is dead, nor his father who can’t cope. But very soon he is torn away from the only person who loves him, and sent to be educated at ‘Home’, where he is boarded out with strangers…
What is the terrible secret that the children shared? What exactly happened at the farmhouse in the Lake District from which Filth is rescued by ‘Sir’ whose ‘outfit’ is one of the oddest schools in England?
OLD FILTH is funny and heart-breaking at the same time. It is peopled with characters who astonish the reader – monsters, eccentrics, blessings in disguise.
Jane Gardam has a unique understanding not only of the human heart but also of the bizarre workings of the minds of the elderly. A touch of surrealism combines with the subtle delicacy of a gifted novelist to make OLD FILTH a genuine masterpiece.