Author(s): Richard Mason
'The adventures of adolescence had taught Piet Barol that he was extremely attractive to most women and to many men. He was old enough to be pragmatic about this advantage...' Piet Barol is an alluring and intelligent young man who has escaped his drab existence, living with his father in the university town of Leiden, and moved to Amsterdam to take up a job at a stunning mansion in the city's 'Gilded Curve'. He has been employed by the extremely wealthy Vermeulen-Sickerts family to tutor their son Egbert, a boy with prodigious musical talent who has not set foot outside for a year and a half. Piet soon attracts the attentions of Constance and Louisa, the boy's two sisters, and their mother Jacobina who has been living in a sexless marriage since her husband made a pledge to God. Piet is determined to find a way of gaining entry to high society, through the family, although he must also retain the good will of his fellow servants. Piet finds many ways to pursue his pleasure-seeking ways, but when he seduces - or is seduced by - Jacobina, the future he has been so carefully building could vanish...
Richard Mason was born in South Africa in 1978 to activist parents who settled in England when he was ten. Brought up and educated here, he wrote his first novel, The Drowning People, whilst a nineteen-year-old at Oxford. In the intervening years, Richard finished his degree, then set up an educational charity in memory of his sister Kay. The Kay Mason Foundation provides scholarships to disadvantaged South African children.