This is my first novel. I started writing it when I was living in Karachi, in my mid-twenties. Its story is drawn a great deal from my own early experiences, which were easier to shape, to make sense of, when I was living so far away. Halfway through the novel I returned to England, had a baby and and finished it in very different circumstances. The strange thing is, that by writing about my past – the book is very autobiographical – I also lost it. To be more exact, the novel lay like a hologram over my memories, both obscuring them and giving them another, alternative life.
Claire – a model daughter, an imaginative teacher, as clear and legible as her handwriting. Laura – a student, as vital and rebellious as her parents would ever have feared for. As children they had shared everything – so much so that later, neither sister could quite remember to which one of them some long-distant adventure had happened. Far from the leafy respectablity of Harrow where they grew up, each are now going their distinctly separate ways in this warm, funny and poignant novel of coming of age.
“The happiest, saddest, funniest, most perceptive truth about growing up since Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.”
“Assured and successful…a complex story, with many ironies and surprises, but it is told with touching and unaffected simplicity…altogether a most satisfying and intelligent first novel, and something for the author to be proud of.” (Financial Times)
“Warm and witty…family life most achingly bared.”