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With her customary accuracy, Jane Gardam reveals the extraordinariness of ordinary people as she deals with the pangs of love- fulfilled or hopeless, sexual or spiritual, tortured or hilarious- in these eleven stories.

Paraded here are ladies with a ‘thing’ about vicars, strange events happening in ornate downstairs lavatories (and in ornate upstairs ones), and the English abroad, desperate and dotty. The glum and impossible Edna haunts the supermarket- and dispenses an unlikely kiss of life. The younger sister of Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid declares her sibling ‘very silly’ and turns her story on its tail, an old maid forms a curious liason with a tramp, and small moments of temptation fill hotel rooms as histories glance briefly off each other.

Reviews

She does fiction as it should be done, with confidence and insight
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Observer