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By Battersea Bridge - Janet Davey

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By Battersea Bridge
Janet Davey
Chatto & Windus
UK Publication Date

Anita Mostyn feels the need to take a holiday from her life. As a child, she was dismissed by her parents in favour of her self-confident brothers, and as an adult, her choices are disapproved of - the small art gallery she works for, the friends she makes, the men she sees. Mossy - lumbered with a childhood nickname that stuck - is never the 'fixed point'; not for her most recent lover, or for the mother whose approval she craves. Instead, she lives on the edges of things. On a whim, she takes up an offer to scout for holiday properties in Bulgaria, escaping the impending second wedding of her perfect brother - and a horrifying episode in her past.

Poignant and absurd, sharp and wry, Janet Davey's luminous prose charts the complications of family relationships with insight and extraordinary tenderness. As Anita navigates difficult waters, we begin to understand her past, and, little by little, see her come through.

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Janet Davey was born in 1953. She is the author ofEnglish Correspondence, which was longlisted for the 2002 Orange Prize,First AidandThe Taxi Queue.She lives in London.

"Davey captures the strangeness of our ordinary days, and the heroism of what Anita Brookner calls 'the mighty task' of keeping oneself afloat. We're lucky to have such an intelligent chronicler of our present - and of the dirty, noisy beauty of contemporary London"
Guardian - Tessa Hadley

"Funny and real as well as impressively sympathetic... Davey's prose is exact and understated, which makes her vivid imagery all the more effective... Davey's intelligence and prose share the fluid assurance of Justin Cartwright, while this perceptive, engaging little novel says a great deal about human vulnerability, resilience and the passivity that too often goes unnoticed"
Irish Times - Eileen Battersby

"Easy to read and oddly compelling. Even unashamed lovers of plot could find themselves reading it late into the night, subsumed by its strange, dreamlike atmosphere... The abrupt ending is a final refusal to deliver what we expect. This is a brave strategy, sure to frustrate many readers; but it is also honest. As such, the novel's structure feels like life. There is so much - and so little - going on all the time. Davey may not be a crowd pleaser, but she's written a memorable, and very clever, book"
Sunday Times - Lucy Atkins

"The book is studded with gem-like observations of this privileged English family, whose preoccupations are 'schooling, property and the form of things'. Davey brilliantly observes the mix of obstinacy and pride - the fortitude - required to survive such a heritage.By Battersea Bridgeis itself a kind of verbal still life, with exquisite and revelatory strokes wherever you look"
Lady - Jon Canter

"Davey's fourth novel is so deliciously written that it's worth re-reading to savour the images she conjures's a joy to read"
Daily Mail - Clare Colvin

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