Nicola Barker’s 10th novel is a dark comedy of manners set in 1984 near Rye, East Sussex. Largely conveyed through dialogue and interior monologue, it is told by a variety of characters—ranging from Carla Hahn, the half-German former nurse of Orla Nor, a young woman believed by some to be a saint, to Clifford Bickerton, the only character aware of being manipulated by what he calls “the cow Author.”
From her debut in 1993, Love Your Enemies, to the Booker-shortlisted Darkmans, Barker has always come at life sideways, usually…
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