A warm, perceptive and drily humorous new novel from the wonderful Isla Dewar, who gets under the skin of both her characters and her readers
Compulsively neat, obsessively organised, Lily is a writer who writes about writers. When she is asked to contribute to a book on lost icons, she visits Rita Boothe - photographer, journalist and wit - who took LSD when she was forty and never lived up to her promise. Rita shows Lily some of her photographs, including one of a beautiful, sexy creature drinking Jack Daniels in a white limousine. It is Mattie, Lily's mother. Lily stares in wonder and with envy - she wishes she could live with such abandon. But Mattie is no longer the woman in the limo, and she and Lily's father live in a neglected house with their neglected marriage. Lily and her siblings want to mend their parents' rift, but Marie's husband has walked out, and Rory avoids coming home altogether. Unless something happens, the family's going to fade away. But something is about to happen...
Dewar draws characters with acerbic wit, and also love - recommended - West Australian
Her characters and situations are so real-life and having been born and brought up in Edinburgh, I particularly appreciated the setting - Hilary Carmichael