Mackay, Shena - Redhill Rococo. Heinemann, 1986, 1st. Life in a Surrey town is distorted and irradiated through a fantastic prism: nothing is quite as it might be where policewomen stroll hand in hand through the redlight district; a vicar's wife, after a lifetime of disappointments, takes to her bath; the Church's Taskforce seeks children's souls; and pubs are frequented by strange people. Into the rackety Slattery household comes, as a lodger; the young Luke Ribbons, a vicar's son and lately a guest of Her Majesty, and falls irrevocably in love with the redoutable and beautiful Pearl, mother of four and grandmother. Pearl, balanced between respectability and ruin and bruised by her baroque past, is unwilling, to his despair, to distinguish him from the throng of dispossessed youth trooping through her house. Luke enlists the services of the local, hightly respectable and provincial witch doctor, but things don't go quite as he had planned. ... is not only a tender account of a love affair, but also a preceptive and effectionate portrait of adolescence in the 80s that shimmers with wit and joie de vivre. (Wrapper flap). 8¾" x 5½", 172pp, dark-blue cloth, gold blocked spine lettering, hardback. Very good; complete with very good (slightly sunned spine, crease to back-flat; very slight edge-wear) wrapper, not price-cut.
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