Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Hunting Unicorns

by Bella Pollen

“Pollen’s flashy, witty, urbane romantic comedy digs affectionately at the blue-blooded English. . . . [She] ventures into . . . dicey areas dealing with the old aristocracy (i.e., sex) in a most engaging, irreverent manner.” –Publishers Weekly

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 368
  • Publication Date June 13, 2005
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4208-5
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $13.00

About The Book

A stylish, screamingly funny, razor-sharp look at the British aristocracy in decline, Hunting Unicorns introduces us to the owners of the vast Bevan estate: the Earl and Countess–charming and possibly round the bend; Daniel, their eldest son–funny and clever, but a hopeless alcoholic; and Rory–the younger brother mired in the tidying up of his family’s well-meaning schemes to stop the dilapidated manor from literally crashing down around them. Adrift in a rapidly changing world, the Bevans cling to tradition while wrestling with taxes, tree blight, and the need to keep the family skeleton firmly in the cupboard.

Enter Maggie, an opinionated American journalist for the hard-hitting show Newsline. Far happier sending dispatches back from the trenches of war-torn anywhere, Maggie is none too pleased at being forced to research a documentary on the decline of England’s upper classes. When these two worlds collide, no one is prepared for the fallout.

The story of two brothers bound by duty, and one woman who feels bound by no one, Hunting Unicorns is a delightful romantic comedy that explores loyalty, family, and, ultimately, having the courage to risk everything in the pursuit of what really counts.

Tags Literary

Praise

‘my husband actually asked me to read in the other room; I was keeping him awake with my laughter. This is a fabulous story about a clash of cultures, truth, love that demands risk, honesty that carries consequences, and what “home” means. The first half reads much like an Anne Lamott story. The characters are unique and funny and the situations they find themselves in are laugh-out-loud hilarious.” –Annette Wells, KLIATT

Hunting Unicorns is the love child of a one night stand between Brideshead Revisited and Bridget Jones’ Diary . . . Pollen serves up this enjoyably familiar dish with wit and good humor. It’s especially great fun for Anglophilic chick-lit fans.” –Nancy Pearl, The Beat, KUOW

“Pollen’s flashy, witty, urbane romantic comedy digs affectionately at the blue-blooded English. . . . [She] ventures into . . . dicey areas dealing with the old aristocracy (i.e., sex) in a most engaging, irreverent manner.” –Publishers Weekly

‘readers will adore this witty insider’s take on the archaic way of life of a British aristocratic clan.

A hilarious but bittersweet love story that juxtaposes the old world with the new.” –Plum Sykes, author of Bergdorf Blondes

“Hits the spot every time with her funny and frank observations of modern London life.” –The Sunday Times (London)

‘readers who have not yet discovered Bella Pollen will be delighted with her witty take on men, women, and English and American life, culture, and mores. Hunting Unicorns is a piercingly sharp treat!” –Tama Janowitz, author of Peyton Amberg and Slaves of New York

“This quirky comedy melds romance with a P. G. Wodehouse view of England’s upper crust.” –Booklist

“An American journalist goes to England to film Britain‘s upper classes and finds crumbling country estates and their eccentric owners. This is a sharp, funny novel about finding love and family secrets. Very enjoyable!” –Rochelle McKown, The Raven Bookstore, Lawrence, KS, Book Sense quote

“This is a sharp, funny novel about finding love and family secrets. Very enjoyable!” –Rochelle McKown, The Raven Bookstore

“Hilariously accurate . . . Pollen is undoubtedly a gifted writer with a pithy, poetic style.” –Daily Mail

“A comic salvo fired equally at the English upper class and our celebrity-obsessed world . . . Perfect for social slobs and climbers alike.” –Marie Claire (UK)

Hunting Unicorns–warm, funny, real, unpredictable–is one of the best novels I’ve read this year.” –Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date

“A terrific novel. Bella Pollen has captured the essence of the characters and their story in the most original way, with brilliant flashes of humor and deep poignancy that stay with you long after you have turned the last page.” –Christiane Amanpour, CNN

A “Best Summer Read” on the Richard & Judy show (the Oprah of England).

Awards

A Book Sense Selection

Excerpt

“As a matter of fact,” said Lord Bancroft, and I suddenly realized something interesting was about to happen. Wolf saw it too and he zoomed in close on the Lord’s face.

” . . . it was my twelfth birthday.” Lord Bancroft wasn’t looking at the camera anymore, but straight through it, back at some forgotten picture of his childhood. “I was just recovering from the flu, if I remember correctly. No, no, she never beat me, dear Nanny, in fact . . . well, in fact . . . she . . . she seduced me.”

There was a stunned silence. Lady Bancroft turned to her husband, aghast.

I was shocked. I hadn’t been waiting for a moment of revelation, just a moment of . . . I don’t know, intimacy maybe, or television intimacy at least. “That’s terrible,” I said, praying he’d go on. There was a pregnant silence.

“No, no, no,” Lord Bancroft said finally. “Not so terrible . . . ” Another agonizing pause. “In actual fact, I quite enjoyed it. You see,” he said cautiously, as though testing whether the thin ice he was already skating on might carry a little more weight, “personally I’m rather partial to sex

.”

“You are?” Lady Bancroft turned sharply.

“Yes, my dear.” Lord Bancroft turned to her. “I’m terribly sorry, but I’m afraid I am.”

She lowered her gaze but when she raised it again, there was a flash in those pale green eyes. “Well,” she said crossly, “you really might have told me because . . . so am I.”