On a secluded hillside in Jamaica lies Firefly, Noël Coward’s peaceful retreat. Here, between sundowners and sunsets, brandies and cigarettes, the seventy-one-year-old Coward whiles away his days – a comforting, frustrating pattern of unwanted breakfasts, reluctant walks, graceless dips in the pool – in the company of his manservant Patrice.
Both of them dream of a London that is long-gone or imagined: Noël’s peopled with glamorous friends – Redgrave, Olivier, O’Toole – and Patrice’s a picture-postcard vision of elegance and opportunity. Set over a series of summer days in the early 1970s, Firefly flits through Coward’s dreams and memories, his successes and regrets, against a sultry, seductive backdrop of blue skies and glistening water.
‘A delightful read’