Scissors, Paper, Stone, By Elizabeth Day
An astute novel of bedside manners
Sunday 01 April 2012
After a car knocks him from his bicycle, Charles Redfern lies unconscious in hospital. His wife Anne and daughter Charlotte sit quietly by his side.
Their relationship seems strained but, once it becomes apparent that Charles will not recover, they gradually open up about the effect his bullying presence has had on their lives.
Elizabeth Day's debut has some odd stylistic tics (a tendency to compare everything to "burnt caramel") and simplistic characterisation (Charlotte's boyfriend, Gabriel, is as improbably angelic as the name suggests). But it is well paced and psychologically astute, exploring the strictures of middle-class reticence with impressive subtlety.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt stars in visceral and brutally ugly drama that reminds us war is hell
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin accuses US of causing global instability
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are