Delicious combination of confused identities, personal dramas and moral dilemmas in a contemporary chiller from one of our most outstanding novelists
For years, Isobel Latimer has composed serious novels for serious people, but to dwindling acclaim and ever-more dwindling financial gain. Now her husband is ill and she must carry the burden of their house and his hopes alone, and in secret.
But if the public don’t want careful moral fables any longer, why not provide them with an outrageous tale of sex and satanism, and an author to match? Isobel, together with her agent, Troy, resolves to change her writing and her appearance, for one book only: the blockbuster that will make her fortune and save her marriage.
Once created, the fabulous author Zelda Vere takes on a life of her own, which eclipses Isobel’s controlled existence in a way she could never have foreseen. Unexpected vistas open; glamorous possibilities beckon. But are they real, or will they vanish when the media furore dies down? And meanwhile, what’s happening at home to her once-predictable marriage?
What began with the best of intentions snowballs into a disorienting blur of passion, gender-bending, loss of innocence, betrayal and despair. Isobel Latimer might feel she’s on the brink of losing everything, but what would Zelda do?