Returning to Manchester, her broken home, Esther moves back to the flat she used to share with her best friend Donna. Surrounded by empty gin bottles, with her past life safely taped up in stacked cardboard boxes, she proceeds to turn her back on a 'real world' that seems meaningless and absurd. Instead she lives in her own head. Then she meets Newton, a care-worn American wanderer with a drinker's face and an angel's smile. Newton changes everything. But for how long?
Gwendoline Riley was born in Liverpool in 1979. After graduating early from Manchester University she studied on Michael Schmidt's writing course and at the age of 20 was appointed literary editor of City Life magazine. Her first novel, Cold Water, won a Betty Trask Award and she was chosen by the Guardian as one of six best first novelists in 2002.