Giant's Bread

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A romantic, but not sentimental story about real people; wrongly reported killed in action in WWI, Vernon Deyre reinvents his life as a composer

"Giant's Bread is an ambitious and surprisingly sentimental story about a young man with musical genius, mixed love-affairs, a lost memory, a family tradition, and other commodities out of the bag of novelist's tricks."

The Observer, 1930



About this story

First released

April 1930 (novel, Collins)

Genre

  • Drama

Formats

  • Novel

Setting

  • House

The first novel Christie published under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, Giant’s Bread tells the story of Vernon Deyre a young composer reported dead in WWI, who reinvents his identity.

Having finally accepted writing as her profession, by 1930 Christie wanted to experiment with her skills, “the eternal longing to do something which was not my proper job, was sure to unsettle me; in fact it would be a dull life if it didn’t.” So she moved momentarily away from the detective novel and began what she would later describe as “a straight novel”. “Bittersweet tales of the heart ...

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The first novel Christie published under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, Giant’s Bread tells the story of Vernon Deyre a young composer reported dead in WWI, who reinvents his identity.

Having finally accepted writing as her profession, by 1930 Christie wanted to experiment with her skills, “the eternal longing to do something which was not my proper job, was sure to unsettle me; in fact it would be a dull life if it didn’t.” So she moved momentarily away from the detective novel and began what she would later describe as “a straight novel”. “Bittersweet tales of the heart” was her daughter, Rosalind Hicks’ description, and Giant’s Bread is certainly bittersweet.

The original blurb on the book described the author as having previously written successful books under her own name, but seeking to have this one judged separately. The New York Times Book Review wrote “Who she is does not matter, for her book is far above the average of current fiction”. Mary Westmacott’s true identity would remain a secret for fifteen years.

Giant’s Bread has never been adapted.



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