It's not easy for Chrysalis Moffat to tell the story of her life. The more closely she tries to set down the facts, the more she finds herself doubting them. Her father has been dead since she was ten, her mother has just succumbed to complications following plastic surgery, and her bad brother Eddie is travelling the world. With so many unanswered questions echoing round the sprawling Californian mansion that was once the Moffat home, Chrysalis decides that it's safer to live under her bed. But then the prodigal Eddie returns to claim his inheritance. In the family house he sees the perfect headquarters for a school of Tibetan Buddhism. As he and his sidekick fleece credulous Californians of their cash, Chrysalis is drawn into Ralph's strange and compelling world: a realm of mind-blowing coincidences, obsessive gambling and mysterious siblings. Sandra Newman has a marksman's skill for quick-fire dialogue, a passion for Byzantine plotting worthy of Laurence Sterne, and a wicked sense of humour. But beneath the technical fireworks lies a brilliantly subtle understanding of human nature and our philosophical dilemmas. Is it Fate or Chance that dictates our lives?
And who holds all the cards?
Born in America but has lived in England for 15 years. She is a graduate of the UEA creative writing course, where she was considered by W. G. Sebald and Andrew Motion to be one of the most promising students.