Perfect Lives, Hardback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


In an English seaside town, lovers and children, young men and middle-aged women weave in and out of each other's lives and stories. A mother is tormented by her daughter's tattoo; another only pretends to love her baby. A wife stalks her husband and his new lover; a broken egg through a letterbox tells a story that will not go away; the cat thinks he knows best.

Threaded throughout are longings for love and poignant disappointments, surprising pleasures and temptations.

Some will fall but some, like the small boy at the circus who sees his babysitter fly past on a trapeze wearing little more than a blue bra and spangles, will retain their feeling of awe. PERFECT LIVES, follows Polly Samson's rapturously received first collection, LYING IN BED.

They are rueful, knowing, witty, poignant, bashful, bold.

Her genius is in the nuance.


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A wonderful collection of interlinked short stories, all on the theme of how dissatisfaction and struggle is just beneath the surface of outwardly comfortable life, how the past can cast long shadows on our lives, and how the shadows might be overcome. One star deducted for being a bit too middle class.

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