Lively, pertinent and honest about the realities of growing older, this thoroughly entertaining novel is impossible to put down. Fifty-nine and widowed, with not much money coming in and not many friends, Clarice decides to buy a flat with Una, an acquaintance from her school days. The perfect solution? Not exactly. Una comes complete with sixteen-year-old Sheree, who is very loud, very pregnant. And why exactly is she there anyway? For solace, Clarice turns to another acquaintance, Beryl, who in turn confides in her imaginary friend, Greg, borrowed from a seventies TV drama. This wacky but entirely believable trio of women bounce off each other uncomfortably: Clarice catches up with the truth about Una's past; Una deals with her oddball boyfriend in an unexpectedly dramatic fashion; Beryl argues with Greg; and young Sheree spins closer to the birth of her baby. Reviews of her last novel, SWALLOWING DIAMONDS: "Duckworth's observation of the quirks of character is acute, and the plot is both strong and unpredictable." North and South "One of Duckworth's most engaging novels so far." The Horowhenua Mail "Duckworth writes spare, uncluttered prose that suits this fast-paced story."
Beryl Fletcher, Waikato Times
In all Marilyn Duckworth has published 14 novels, a short story collection, a book of poems, an autobiography and edited a non-fiction collection. She has won the Literary Fund Award for Achievement and the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction. In 1987 she was awarded an OBE for services to literature. She has held the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship in Menton, a Fulbright Visiting Writers Fellowship and several university fellowships.