Publishers Weekly, 2006-06-19 Quirky life in a Cornish seaside town is interrupted by a cruel siren in this fourth novel by Brit Denby, an Orange Prize finalist for Billie Morgan. When Astra Sharp's mother is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she drops out of university and moves home to Polwenna, a beach town far off the beaten path, to become caretaker for her family, including her little sister Git, twin siblings Lance and Gwen, and her dentist father. Fast forward to Astra's 27th year, when this quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of her best friend Con's younger sister, Angel, a woman "who looked as near to an orchid as a human being could." Angel sows a classic kind of discord-men long for her and women feel inadequate around her-and in her presence the thin social fabric of the town soon falls apart. In particular, Astra's surfer-boy crush, Luke, and her brother, Lance, become infatuated with Angel, even as Astra yearns for romance and her family is desperate for cohesion. Denby has a knack for the odd description and captures the local rapid-fire dialect. Astra is gabby and ruminative, but the plot, like her reasoning, often seems to go in circles. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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