A collection of short stories from the acclaimed author of The
Madonnas of Leningrad This collection of short stories by Debra
Dean, author of critically acclaimed novel 'The Madonnas of
Leningrad', explores turning points in lives on the brink of
change. Each of the characters she brings to vivid life in these
pages is either facing up to, or coming to terms with, a
significant moment in their lives - from the prodigal daughter
returning home for an intervention with her domineering alcoholic
mother, to a woman unexpectedly rediscovering love with her
ex-husband. In writing that is by turns sharply observed and
delicately nuanced, Dean brings into focus shifting spectrum of
human emotions. Yet there is nothing sensational about these
stories - rather they centre on the quiet moments when reflection
gives way to moments of truth: like the narrator in 'Confessions of
a Falling Woman', writing to her ex-husband years after their
separation in order to lay to rest the tragic death of their
daughter and set the record straight as she faces up to an illness
of her own; or the best man at a wedding letting go of the
lingering feelings he harboured for a previous life. Among these
poignant vignettes, there are also flashes of humour. 'What the
Left Hand Is Saying' is a caustic tale of a group of housemates who
are brought together - and ultimately betrayed - by a visitor who
enchants them with a Pied Piper-like charm, while 'The Afterlife of
Lyle Stone' is a darkly comic tale of one man's nervous breakdown.
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