Cover painting by Peter Unsworth
All the best aspects of the English literary tradition are brought together here and woven into a bright whole.
Alma Hromic, Cape Argus

Peake’s voice is individual, lucid, moving.
Madeleine Keane, Image Magazine  


‘A total stranger can, in the way he looks at you, appropriate your entire life. Love at first sight, they call it. Coup defoudre.’ Lucy Hamilton’s existence has become ‘a still life’. No more than a creation by her artist husband, Charles, she is a woman whose identity is disappearing as her beauty slowly wanes. Originally an inspiration in her husband’s paintings, their relations have eroded to a listless formality, and he paints in absolute privacy. They have moved to live on an isolated island off the east coast of England, linked to the mainland only by a slim causeway, in a house owned by Charles’ enigmatic and protective agent, Andre. Lucy’s days are occasionally punctuated by fellow inhabitants of the sparsely populated community: the laconic Norman, the melancholy photographer Jorgen, and the hopelessly conventional Landies. Into their frozen lives comes a stranger, a beautiful, sensual young man, whose own personality is an enigmatic secret. Suddenly Lucy’s days are lit with anticipation – but darkened by the complex emotions that his presence arouses, and the relationships it causes her to reassess. 

Trade paperback: Abacus, London, 1993. 279pp.
ISBN 0-349-10481-6

Paperback: Abacus, London, 1994. 279pp.
ISBN 0-349-10553-7
Photo © Jerry Bauer

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