Richard and Lelia's child is conceived in a moment of giggling chaos as they dress for a Christmas party. They arrive rudely late and still glowing, and barely register a slight, drab woman in the hall, Sylvie. As their baby grows, so does the presence of Sylvie - she seems to be nowhere, yet everywhere, harmless yet sinister. Richard is seduced by her subtle, inexplicable charm, while Lelia, struggling with Richard's sudden ambivalence towards their baby, finds that she is haunted by painful memories. And Sylvie remains as invisible as she wants to be - that is the source of her power. Beware of mice.
Joanna Briscoe is the author of two novels, Mothers and Other Lovers, which won the Betty Trask Award; and Skin, which was runner-up for the Encore Award. Her short stories have featured in several anthologies. She was a columnist for the Independent and the Guardian and writes regularly for all the major newspapers and magazines. Joanna Briscoe lives in London with her family.