A Handful Of Dust

A Handful of Dust is a novel by Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1934. It tells the story of Tony Last, a wealthy Englishman living in a large country estate with his wife, Brenda, and their young son, John Andrew. Tony is a traditionalist who values the old ways of life, while Brenda is a modern woman who is more interested in the latest trends.

The novel begins with Tony and Brenda's marriage, which is strained due to their different outlooks on life. Tony is content with his life, while Brenda is bored and restless. She begins an affair with John Beaver, a young socialite, and Tony discovers the affair. He is devastated and decides to leave Brenda and take John Andrew with him.

Tony and John Andrew travel to South America, where Tony hopes to find a new life. He purchases a ranch and begins to build a new home. However, his plans are disrupted when he discovers that the ranch is infested with tsetse flies, which can cause sleeping sickness. Tony is forced to abandon the ranch and return to England.

Back in England, Tony discovers that Brenda has been living with John Beaver and has been spending his money. Tony is determined to get revenge and decides to sue Brenda for divorce. He also arranges for John Andrew to be sent to a boarding school.

The novel follows Tony as he struggles to come to terms with his new life. He is forced to sell his estate and move into a small cottage. He also takes a job as a tutor to a young girl, who is the daughter of a wealthy family. Tony begins to form a bond with the girl, and she helps him to come to terms with his new life.

The novel ends with Tony's death, which is caused by a combination of his grief and the sleeping sickness he contracted in South America. The novel is a tragic story of a man who is unable to find happiness in his life, despite his wealth and privilege. It is a powerful exploration of the human condition and the consequences of our choices.