In these stories whose lives come into focus through single events
or sudden memories which bring the past bubbling to the surface.
The past, as her characters discover, is made up not only of what
is remembered, but also what isn't. The past is there, just out of
the picture, but if memories haven't been savoured, recalled in the
mind and boxed away, it's as if they have never been until a moment
when the pieces of the jigsaw re-form suddenly, sometimes
pleasurably but more often painfully. Women look back at their
young selves, at first marriages made when they were naive and
trusting, at husbands and their difficult, demanding little ways.
There is in this new collection an underlying heartbreak, a sense
of regret in her characters for what might have been, for a fork in
the road not taken, a memory suppressed in an act of prudent
emotional housekeeping. But at the same time there is hope, there
are second changes her are people who reinvent themselves, seize
life by the throat, who have moved on and can dare to conjure up
the hidden memories, daring to go beyond what is remembered.