At the centre of Valerie Martin's new novel is the kind of character that many of her readers will find it easy to identify with. Chloe Dale is a successful book illustrator, liberal in outlook but privately judgemental. As the novel opens, she's being introduced to her only son's new girlfriend, Salome, a Croatian refugee.
Chloe suspects her of being a gold-digger and her worst fears are confirmed when, not long after, Salome becomes pregnant. In a novel that keeps shifting the moral ground – there's a secondary narrative describing life during the Bosnian genocide – Martin asks Chloe, and her readers, to reassess some more covert prejudices.