So well-crafted, so engaging, so powerfully written - it's hard believing "Chance" was written by Joseph Conrad. Not that Conrad didn't write great books, just that nothing in "Lord Jim," "Heart Of Darkness," or the rest of his tough, unsettling oeuvre prepares you for the wry warmth and hidden sunlight of "Chance."
Well, you do have Marlow again. The narrator of "Jim" and "Darkness" is back here telling another story about people he doesn't actually know first-hand. This time the central character is young Flora de Barral, set adrift in England by her father's scandal-plagued financiering. Haunted and helpless, her wide blue eyes giving her the look of "a forsaken elf," Flora takes what comes in life, seemingly unable to function for herself. Can she find her own way? Will she become ruthless if she tries?