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Perfect Lives

by Polly Samson

Short stories with a difference; spot the links between the characters as you read these tales of an English seaside town - an obsessive photographer and her talking cat, witchy Morganna, the perfect Idlewild family, Richard the shy piano-tuner. You'll feel you know them by the end of the book as each story reveals new aspects of their lives. A lovely, gentle read of great charm and humour with likeable, unusual characters.

Extract

Talk at home was all tractors, Lego and Cheestrings, three sevens are twenty-one and the thrilling adventures of Biff and Chip, only the occasional grunt or sigh from Simon. My cat had more to say than my husband these days and now that the more unpredictable brick-throwing phase was over, a couple of episodes a week of Morganna's drama was, I came to realise, just what the doctor ordered.
Though Morganna claimed her soul was in torment she never failed to cheer me up.
Sometimes I could feel my poor Peugeot quake. A variety of stimuli could set Morganna off: an alabaster statuette spied through his window, flaunting its nakedness atop his new desk: 'Do you suppose it reminds him of her?' CDs. A book spotted lying on the back seat of his car, a thick one with an irritating title: 'The man on the cover looked to be in fear of his life,' she said, rattling my keys at the ignition irritably.
'What's he doing reading self-help books?'

Parallels

Any title by Barbara Pym
The Devastating Boys by Elizabeth Taylor
 

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