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I wonder why Edwin's mother left him - why his mother left and mine stayed? I mean, which is the more damaging - the mother who tells you she loves you and leaves, or the mother who calls you stupid and stays?

This beautifully written new novel by Laurence Fearnley is about finding love in the most unlikely of places. Set if the southern South Island, it describes the unusual bond formed between sixty-two-year-old photographer Edwin and twenty-two-year-old Matilda, as their relationship grows in ways neither could possibly have predicted.

I liked the look of concentration on his face when we made love. His hands moved gently over my body; it was as if he was turning the pages of some fragile book - the type of book that has tissue pages, like an old-fashioned Bible. He reminded me, too, of a child learning to read. I pictured his fingertips tracing the words on the page, his lips mouthing the sounds, so intense was his focus. 'Edwin,' I teased, 'am I a good book?'

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