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In a remote Australian settlement a young wife with an untellable secret reluctantly invites her neighbour into her home. A Quaker spinster offers companionship to a condemned man in a Colorado jail. In the ice and snows of Siberia an office employee from Birmingham witnesses a scene that will change her life. At a jubilee celebration in a northern English town a middle-aged alderman opens his heart to Queen Victoria. A teenage daughter leaves home in search of adventure. High in the Cumbrian fells a woman seeks help from her father's enemy. Spare, precise, charged with a prickly wit, the stories in Carys Davies's sparkling second collection remind us how little we know of the lives of others. "extraordinarily powerful" — VS PRITCHETT PRIZE JUDGES JANE GARDAM, PENELOPE LIVELY AND JACOB ROSS "darkly funny and unsettling" —BOYD TONKIN The Independent on Some New Ambush "As if Mark Twain and Annie Proulx had sat down at a desk together [….] I shall be looking out for more." —PIERS PLOWRIGHT "a writer willing to tackle the hardest of all fictional forms - the short story. This is a region in which so many fail […] she can do what it is essential to do in this form, she can create a micro-world, which has reverberations beyond its size and scope, which is metaphysical." —SARAH HALL

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