Eustace and Hilda is a beautifully rendered portrait of a brother and sister and their relationship which, indissoluble, loving, also threatens to twist them out of shape. Hartley's writing is precise, allusive, evocative through what is told of the far greater landscape of what is not - few writers are as good at capturing the peculiar confusion of childhood, or of navigating a world full of people we can't quite understand.
L. P. Hartley was the first adult author I ever read; he never forgot what it was like to be a child, and in Eustace and Hilda he shows, brilliantly, immersively, how childhood fears and sibling relationships can shape and distort a whole life.
Apart from George Eliot's Mill on the Floss, no other novel offers such a devastating illumination of sibling rivalry
Powerfully evokes the lost world of childhood. Hartley is a master of character, but never at the expense of plot or pace, and it is rare to find a novelist so skilled at all three
A very beautiful novel, full of delicate people and filigree observation
A masterpiece from the very first image ... includes some of the most perfect sentences in English
This masterpiece - for it is no less than that - imposes its convictions without underlining them. One closes the book with a feeling of profound sadness, of regret not only for Eustace and Hilda but for the beautiful literary undertaking that is now ended. Few modern novels impose high standards. This one unquestionably does
'The combined effect of these three books is one of mounting excellence. Eustace, the central figure, is an immortal portrayal of the delights and agonies of childhood and adolescence