A book by Ford Madox Ford, published in 1915, which was chosen as one of the Modern Library’s 100 best books of fiction. The story consists of the relationship between two couples, one American and one English, after they meet at German health spa. John and Florence Dowell become friends with Edward and Leonora Ashburnham, and a truckload of lies, adulterous love triangles and deception enters into their lives. John Dowell is the narrator of the story, offering the tales of what happened between himself and the others in a distanced, somewhat cold manner. The bleakness of the story is compounded when the reader realizes how little John or his wife learned from the scandals, and how ignorant John is of the reality of some of the things that went on. Here, you will find heart disease and emotional sadism. Fun for the whole family.

The book was originally supposed to be called “The Saddest Story,” for obvious reasons. The tale is one comparible to many, how easy it is for people to involve themselves in lies and cheating, and/or how seldom we tend to recognize the falsity and truth in others. I read this a few years ago, and while I enjoyed the book it did not aid to my growing pessimism.

Other books by Ford Madox Ford include:

Parade’s End"
The Rash Act
Return to Yesterday