From the writer whose work has been described as sparingly tragic and unsparingly funny (Ruth Rendell) and shimmering with grace and savagery and wit (The Times, London), a new collection: nine stories about the blisses and irritations of domestic life. The setting is contemporary London and its suburbs. A seventeen-year-old girl, a student of Coleridge and Keats, walks toward her future resolved not to be anything like her successful career-woman mother. At a small caf? in South Kensington, two women, teachers, become tipsy and exchange confidences about their family difficulties and marital turmoils, revealing more than they intend. A celebratory dinner for a timber merchant and his wife in South London turns into something else entirely. In the midst of a sensuous shopping spree, a woman shares with her friend the secret of a state of mind known as wurstigkeit ('sausageness'). At a Robert Burns gala in a Mayfair hotel, poetry and money collide head-on. These are stories that charm and move us as they catch the special timbre part laughter, part wail of youngish, more or less sophisticated lives in the city at our particular moment in time.