By Ali Smith
Anchor Books, Paperback, 9781400032181, 306pp.
Publication Date: April 10, 2007
Filled with Ali Smith's trademark wordplay and inventive storytelling, here is the dizzyingly entertaining, wickedly humorous story of a mysterious stranger whose sudden appearance during a family's summer holiday transforms four variously unhappy people. Each of the Smarts parents Eve and Michael, son Magnus, and the youngest, daughter Astrid encounter Amber in his or her own solipsistic way, but somehow her presence allows them to see their lives (and their life together) in a new light. Smith's narrative freedom andexhilarating facility with language propel the novel to its startling, wonderfully enigmatic conclusion.
“Astonishing. . . . Vivid and affecting. . . . Wonderfully supple, jazzy.” –The New York Times“Persistently sparkling pages...of startling and clarifying emotional power. . . . It casts a spell.” —The Atlantic Monthly“Completely captivating. . . . Thoroughly charming and melodic. . . .Devilishly lovely.” —The Boston Globe“Beautifully executed. . . . A few pages [in] and you begin to remember how much fun it is to put yourself in the hands of a skilled, majestically confident writer. . . . Delightful.” —The New York Observer“Brims with wit, humor, and energy.” —The Christian Science Monitor