Keepers of the House

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This article is about the novel by Lisa St Aubin de Terán. For the novel by Shirley Ann Grau, see The Keepers of the House.
Keepers of the House
First edition
Author Lisa St Aubin de Terán
Cover artist Jenny Tylden-Wright
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Jonathan Cape (UK)
Harper & Row (US)
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 192
ISBN 0-224-02001-3

Keepers of the House is the debut novel of Lisa St Aubin de Terán, published as The Long Way Home in the US. The novel is autobiographical[1] and set in a Venezuelan valley beset by drought. First published in 1982 by Jonathan Cape it won the Somerset Maugham Award.

Plot introduction[edit]

The story concerns Lydia an Englishwoman who has married Diego, the second to last survivor of the Beltrán family. They return to La Bebella, a dilapidated mansion on a neglected estate upon which years of drought and disease have taken their toll. Only Benito, her husband's retainer, remains and when her husband becomes depressed and a virtual recluse, Lydia has to take on the management of the estate with its sparse avocado and sugar cane crops. Benito recounts to her the history of the family and its gradual decline and it is this history and the characters concerned which forms the bulk of the narrative.,


  1. ^ Geoffrey Elborn, "Lisa St. Aubin de Teran Biography",