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Union Atlantic

by Adam Haslett

I didn't expect to enjoy a book about greed and fraud in American corporate banking, but this one surprised me. From the unexpected opening, I was won over by this David and Goliath story in which even the actions of the most minor characters can have major effects. I was sorry when I came to the end of a book in which the language, plain and direct when necessary, lyrical at other times, saves the bleak themes from overwhelming the reader.

Extract

And so, just when she'd thought she might at last turn her eye to the future, Charlotte had found herself once more having to call up memories in defense: how quiet it had been in the woods, say, on a late afternoon in August as the thunderheads gathered and you could see up beyond the pale evergreen and birch, where against the powder-gray sky the black-and-orange wings of butterflies danced in the last shelves of light, fair creatures of an hour that she might never look upon more.

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