'Utterly satisfying ... beautifully structured and almost painfully tender.' Sunday Telegraph
Daily Mail 'Step into the world of family secrets, lies and whispers in the dark ... compelling and an extremely good read.' Sunday Telegraph
'Vivid characterization ... true, honest and powerfully realized.' Guardian
'Penetrates the deepest corners of the female psyche.' Mail on Sunday
‘Zelda, the first person narrator of this story lives a bohemian life in York with her female lover. Her unresolved conflicts with her family and memories of her childhood only serve to intensify her present insecurities. The structure of the book is formed of flashbacks interlaced with present events. This is a popular technique in contemporary fiction and the author handles this to good effect here. (In some books this is badly structured and becomes irritating to the reader).
Her childhood on the surface has an Arcadian, almost Enid Blyton-ish feel to it with descriptions of tree-houses and mother baking cakes. However it soon becomes evident that Zelda's childhood was far from happy with various skeletons coming out of the cupboard to haunt her present relationships. Under the surface there is bitter sibling rivalry, jealousy and a withholding father who conceals a gruesome history which casts a dark shadow on the whole family and on Zelda's upbringing.
This quiet, reflective and rather tragic novel lacks the compelling tension and narrative excitement of her later "Deep Blue Bliss". However it provided an interesting read on the perennial theme of the past haunting the present. And there are some unconventional surprises thrown in as well’.