Susan Fletcher, Author . Norton $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-393-06003-4

Regret and jealousy consume the overweening protagonist of this frustrating novel by the Whitbread-winning author of Eve Green . Moira is a 27-year-old scientist whose 16-year-old sister, Amy, is in a coma, the result of a fall four years earlier. The accident is made more tragic because Moira, who was away at boarding school when her sister was born, took the new addition to the family as a personal slight and never developed a relationship with her. Instead, she ignored her family and later married Ray, an artist and doting husband. Now she would like to make amends with her sister, but it is too late. Largely told from the perspective of a fledgling adult reflecting on her childhood, the story feels like an extended therapy session, with narration alternating between third- and first-person, allowing a dissociation between the grown Moira and her lonely, moody adolescent self. Overall, there's an air of self-importance that's difficult to penetrate. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 04/02/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-393-33198-1
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-00-719026-3
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