Well, there I was nursing a pain in my guts that turned out to be cancer (yes, that part's true!) watching the 'cookie cutter', Western Suburbs' marionettes air-kiss their way into the plush, wood-panelled room. Dainty sandwiches, cups of tea in pale-blue Limoges (more of that later) with tea leaves all the way from Mariage Freres in Paris (more of that later, too) and, well… you can imagine the rest. This was the book-launch for Alice Nelson's, "The Children's House" and the 'pitch' was interesting to say the least; on the occasions when I dropped my eyes to ponder exactly what was happening in my stomach I really couldn't tell if it were Alice Nelson speaking or her literary doppelganger and muse, Brenda Walker. Each word weighed and measured; each word sanded smooth using the finest-grade Ethiopian sand-paper purchased from Barney Bill's in Harlem (that part's not true); each word dipped in bronze before, quietly and oh so elegantly, being tossed like a pink petal among the linen-clad literati. Rounded and beautifully enunciated vowels at 30 paces, okay? "The Children's House" is yet another University English Department 'House' Novel written by/for/with the assistance of the genteel flaneurs (female, predominantly) whose 'beat' consists almost entirely of hushed academic corridors. I'm sure it will sell extraordinarily well. The BLWSBC & LPS (Blue Limoges Western Suburbs Book Club and Lemon Peel Society) will love it! But, believe me baby… that 'aint no recommendation.