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New Zealand, 1909. After weeks at sea the new minister, Jack Mackenzie, arrives from Scotland with his unhappy wife and children in tow. A keen naturalist, he is more enthralled by the botanical – and carnal – delights of Dunedin than in the wellbeing of his flock.
In London, eighty years later, Jack Mackenzie’s descendants are middle-aged, searching for a way out of their loneliness. Olive, embittered with her loveless life, steals a baby from a crowded tube; William, distraught at the death of a pupil, abandons his job as headmaster and struggles to fill his empty days. Jay Pascal, a young New Zealand vagrant of mysterious parentage arrives in London, looking for a place where he might belong.
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Modern & Contemporary Fiction (post C 1945)

On Sale: 7th April 2016

Price: £12.99

ISBN-13: 9780349007199


She writes like an angel wielding a scalpel, dissecting her characters with sublime, sharp-edged prose
Her prose is flawlessly seductive and comic, confidently witty and sensual
Julie Myerson, Independent on Sunday
She is a dazzling sort of a writer
Rachel Cooke
Shena Mackay notices a London that passes most writers by . . . Her London is not a convenient backdrop - it is the capital itself, vividly and freshly set down in glancing detail
Paul Bailey, Independent
A rich feast to be enjoyed page by page as Mackay, in often dazzling prose, describes the hilarious antics of bibulous writers or, with moving lyricism, those 'surprised by joy'
What a superbly imaginative writer she is ... Mackay takes large risks, but when they come off the result is breathtaking
John Banville
An adroit novel that incisively but compassionately deploys a dysfunctional family with familiar problems - isolation, failed hopes, mutual deceit - in comic configurations
New York Times