21 Mar 2009 – Oxfam shop

Clayton’s novels are always delightful, with this one no exception; her lovely acerbic voice, reminiscent of Barbara Comyns’, always lifts her out of the chick-lit canon.  The usual scatty heroine, unusual hero, loopy secondary characters and mouldering old houses, mixed with gorgeous descriptions of clothes and food are all here, along with a jolly storyline and lots of atmospheric detail, in this case about the ballet world.  Marigold spends the book agonising about putting her dancing before her parents, her love life and, in fact, her self, and is a lovely heroine we can root for as she comes to terms with the richer family her family has always been bound to, her mature feelings for her childhood crush and the injury that causes her to lose her greatest love, dancing, for a while.  Add in a delightful and very much alive at the end pet rabbit, and there’s a recipe for a lovely, escapist and enoyable read.