Once it had been the great forest of Lythe--a vast and impenetrable thicket of green with a mystery in the very heart of the trees. And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor, visited once by the great Gloriana herself.
But over the centuries the forest had been destroyed, replaced by Streets of Trees. The Fairfaxes had dwindled too; now they lived in 'Arden' at the end of Hawthorne Close and were hardly a family at all.
There was Vinny (the Aunt from Hell)--with her cats and her crab-apple face. And Gordon, who had forgotten them for seven years and, when he remembered, came back with fat Debbie, who shared her one brain cell with a poodle. And then there were Charles and Isobel, the children. Charles, the acne-scarred Lost Boy, passed his life awaiting visits from aliens and the return of his mother. But it is Isobel to whom the story belongs--Isobel, born on the Streets of Trees, who drops into pockets of time and out again. Isobel is sixteen and she too is waiting for the return of her mother--the thin, dangerous Eliza with her scent of nicotine, Arpege and sex, whose disappearance is part of the mystery that still remains at the heart of the forest.
"Vivid, richly imaginative, hilarious and frightening by turns" Observer "Huge, exhilarating, loving and detailed eruption of a novel...an utterly intoxicating display of novelistic elan...big and joyous, literary and accessible...storytelling at its buoyant best" The Scotsman "Wonderfully eloquent and forceful Kate Atkinson goes at the same pace in her second novel as she did in her first...welcome back, wild north-easter...brilliant and engrossing" Evening Standard "Vivid and intriguing...fizzles and crackles along...a tour de force" Independent "Part ghost story, part murder mystery, this is an exquisitely written, literary novel that reads as compellingly as any thriller" Cosmopolitan
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 1st June 1998
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8 x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1