In the summer of 1983, 20-year-old Nick Guest moves into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: Tory MP Gerald, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their two children, Toby - whom Nick had idolized at Oxford - and Catherine, always standing at a critical angle to the family and its assumptions and ambitions.
As the Thatcher boom-years unfold, Nick, an innocent in the worlds of politics and money, finds his life altered by the rising fortunes of the glamorous family he is entangled with. Two vividly contrasting love-affairs, with a young black clerk and a Lebanese millionaire, dramatize the dangers and rewards of his own private pursuit of beauty, a pursuit as compelling to him as that of power and riches to his friends.
Starting at the moment The Swimming-Pool Library ended, The Line of Beauty traces the further history of a decade of change and tragedy. Richly textured, emotionally charged, disarmingly comic, it is a major work by one of the finest writers in the English language.