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In this “perfect, black little tale” from the author of Honour Thy Father, a feud between neighbors in an English town escalates to terrifying consequence (The Observer).
In northern England, along a block of row houses, lives the widow Nell. Lately, she’s had a difficult time adjusting to her new lodger—her son Rodney. An ex-con imprisoned for something no one likes to talk about, Rodney has moved back into his old bedroom. He is his mother’s pride and shame.
Two doors down from Nell is Olive. Obese, childless, near senile, and given to violent mood swings, Olive is comforted by her pets, and coddled by a patient lover. Once, Olive was beautiful. Once, Olive was Nell’s best friend. But for more than fifty years now, they’ve been separated by a paralyzing hatred and rivalry.
Then, one night, the eight-year-old son of a new neighbor invites them both to a Guy Fawkes Day bonfire in his backyard. Amid the smoldering embers of fall leaves, a spark of another kind is ignited. Their violent rage is set to explode, a buried past will be revealed, and no one on their quiet little block is ever going to feel safe again.
In this “absorbing” (Los Angeles Times) novel from the Somerset Maugham Award winner, Glaister expertly reveals her “uncomfortable knack of putting her finger on things we fear most” (The Independent on Sunday).
“A cool, sure, bright entertainment.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Before Gillian Flynn, there was Lesley Glaister.” —Harper’s Bazaar
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