Fig Tree £12.99 (213pp) £11.69 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Landfall, By Helen Gordon
Friday 18 November 2011
When Alice Robinson loses her job at the cutting-edge arts magazine "Meta", she agrees to move back home to house-sit for her parents somewhere at the "edges of the A to Z", a suburb that sounds suspiciously like Croydon.
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Swapping the vodka-fuelled parties of East London for a world of scout huts and and cooing wood pigeons brings Alice up short.
Her "Tudorbethan" family home is haunted not just by her own past, but by her missing sister, Janey, who disappeared as a teenager. Nor does the arrival of her comically self-absorbed American cousin, Emily, do much to cheer her up.
Written with pluck and humour, Helen Gordon's first novel evokes the ennui of young adulthood and the panicky feeling that once-promising horizons are closing in.
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