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Publisher's Summary

A BBC Two Between the Covers Book Club pick (Booker Prize Gems)

"I do know how to behave - believe me, because I know. I have always known...."

Behind the gates of Temple Alice, the aristocratic Anglo-Irish St Charles family sinks into a state of decaying grace. To Aroon St Charles, large and unlovely daughter of the house, the fierce forces of sex, money, jealousy and love seem locked out by the ritual patterns of good behaviour. But crumbling codes of conduct cannot hope to save the members of the St Charles family from their own unruly and inadmissible desires. 

This elegant and allusive novel established Molly Keane as the natural successor to Jean Rhys.

©1981 The Estate of Molly Keane (P)2021 Hachette Audio UK

Critic Reviews

"Molly Keane is a mistress of wicked comedy." (Vogue)

"I really wish I had written this book. It's a tragi-comedy set in Ireland after the First World War. A real work of craftsmanship." (Hilary Mantel)

"I have read and re-read Molly Keane more, I think, than any other writer. Nobody else can touch her as a satirist, tragedian and dissector of human behaviour. I love all her books, but Good Behaviour and Loving and Giving are the ones I return to most." (Maggie O'Farrell)

What listeners say about Good Behaviour

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A gem!

What a gem! Truly a masterpiece. It took a few minutes to get used to the reader at first but after that I was thoroughly entranced.

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Amusing and well written

Stiff upper lip and good manners disguise dynamics of English family after WW1 . Great dialogue and characterization.