These ten stories, loosely linked and involving millennial women at work, at home and on holiday, display a multiplicity of London life glimpsed from buses, trains and the occasional taxi, with the Thames as a diamond-dusted ribbon seen from an aeroplane coming into Heathrow; also from behind buggyloads of babies, and from suburban back gardens with their barbecues and dawn revelations.
There are wine-fuelled confidences between two teachers in a Polish cafe in South Kensington, waves of grief and rudeness during a performance of 'Orphee' at Covent Garden, and a dreadful anniversary dinner for a timber merchant and his wife somewhere in south London. There is a corporate Burns Night in a Mayfair hotel where poetry and money collide catastrophically, and an enormous air disaster which starts by destroying the glasshouses at Kew and ends up obliterating the placid domestic streets for miles around.
One woman passes on the secret of wurstigkeit to another in a shopping trip of unbridled sensuousness in the heart of Spitalfields. Seventeen-year-old Jade Beaumont walks towards the jewelled narrative of her future, fiercely resolved not to be like her mother Nicola, who has a successful career in the city, four children and stands at the front door screaming at them all to do their music practice.
Meanwhile, Dorrie, full-time mother of three and heroine of the title story, struggles to preserve some shreds of self-respect and inner life while bolstering family values, both at home in London and, in the final story of the collection, on holiday in Cornwall.
- Publication Date:
- 15 / 10 / 2000
- 140 x 221mm