She's come to steal my thunder again, hasn't she? Dying, my foot. She's probably just being dramatic. Dying for dramatic effect. She would.' Cathy Wren, aged 37, lives alone in a small northern town, surviving on waitressing and piano teaching. She nurses her quiet drab life, keeping memories of a tumultuous earlier time at bay, until one stray remnant of that old life knocks on her front door. There, standing on her doorstep, in the rain, is Stephen, ex-boyfriend of her younger sister, Veronica Karen. He's come with bad news about her sister and a dogged determination to find her, and he wants Cathy's help. Cathy, who hasn't spoken to Veronica Karen - that thorn in her side - for ten years, is about to find herself on a weird and haphazard journey that turns into much more than a search for her little sister.
'It is in its delicate exploration of the murky ground between objective assessment for life and irrational affection for a person that the novel compels' - TLS
Carol Birch was born in 1951 in Manchester and went to Keele University. She has lived in London, southwest Ireland and now Lancaster. For her first novel, LIFE IN THE PALACE, she won the 1988 David Higham Award for the Best First Novel of the Year. In 1991 she won the prestigious Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize with THE FOG LINE.