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A.L. Barker dissects the unnerving emotions of everyday life with the sly humour and exquisite feel for language that prompted Auberon Waugh to declare that she ‘writes like an angel and I love her’.

In this, her tenth collection of stories, she unfolds tales of cunning, fancy, and shifting alliances. Here a young boy fosters grand illusions; a wife faces broken promises; a dutiful committee woman meets a sparky old gentleman; a witch is drowned; an intruder insinuates himself into a lonely woman’s holiday; and commonplace superstition mingles effortlessly with submerged desire.