Corvus £7.99 (325pp) £7.59 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Kehua!, By Fay Weldon
Friday 19 August 2011
"Your writer," states Weldon, "in telling you this tale of murder, adultery, incest, ghosts, redemption and remorse, takes you first to a comfortable house in Highgate, North London..."
So the "mistress of warped suburbia" as she came to be known after The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil, lays out the parameters of her latest novel, and proves she can mix Gothic themes with otherwise ordinary characters and lives.
The story reaches from the Highgate of the introduction, and the young journalist, Scarlet, who sits talking to her grandmother, Beverely, back to the past in New Zealand.
It takes in the lives of three generations of women and weaves haunting tales of Maori spirits in Weldon's wonderfully wicked, highly readable way.
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