Sherry Cracker Gets Normal, By DJ Connell

Sherry Cracker, the far from normal heroine of Connell's second novel, is a loner, obsessive note-taker and lover of tartan trousers. She works for Mr Chin, who runs a business buying used gold from dentists.

One Friday afternoon, he gives her £100 and a weekend in which to "crack the normality nut". But establishing what is normal proves far from easy especially when in the company of new friends Jocelyn de Foiegras (a "gentleman alcoholic") and Little Bastard (a ten-year-old runaway).

A writer intrigued by life on the outside, Connell writes about unusual friendships and high risk survival strategies. Although her characters have charm, it takes stamina to keep up with their rapid-fire witticisms and madcap adventures.