Dutiful and studious, Elizabeth has never been the rebel in her family. Now, in an attempt to bury her old self, she has moved to the deserts of the American Southwest to live in a house made out of beer cans with her boyfriend, Spencer, a crew-cut aficionado of country and western music. But memories of her unhappy adolescence prevent Elizabeth from embracing her new life and after proposing to Spencer to satisfy her dying grandmother's wish, Elizabeth is forced to return home to arrange an impromptu wedding. Once back in London, the discovery of disturbing secrets hampers her preparations and as the wedding date approaches, her family seems to be falling apart. Elizabeth must weigh the value of the American sincerity she has learned from Spencer against the repression that has been her family's lifelong habit. An intimate study of the unspoken passions of the English middle class, this exciting d-but novel is both poetic and gripping.
Helena Echlin grew up in North London and now lives in San Francisco, where she works as a freelance writer.