During the long summer holiday, the Lampton and Hallwright families gather in a large beach house belonging to Prime Minister David Hallwright and his wife Roza. The weather is perfect and outwardly all is well, but the harmony is disturbed when Simon Lampton's brother arrives for a visit. Ford casts a cold eye over the company, barely disguising his contempt for David Hallwright. To add to Simon's discomfort a young man called Arthur Weeks makes contact, asking about his secret past affair, and Roza begins to tell her small son Johnnie a continuous story about a group of fantasy creatures - a story that contains uncomfortable parallels with their current lives. When Simon agrees to meet secretly with Arthur Weeks, the result will threaten the security of them all.
Charlotte Grimshaw's exhilaratingly gripping and clever narrative traces the lives of its beautiful people - 'moral imbeciles' in Ford's words - as they jostle for position in their leader's court. This humane and capacious novel, generous and faithful to its characters in ways that they are not to each other, articulates the ancient idea that to be moral is an act of consciousness, an effort of will.
Charlotte Grimshaw is the author of four critically acclaimed novels, Provocation, Guilt, Foreign City and Soon. In 2000 she was awarded the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship for literature. She has been a double finalist and prizewinner in the Sunday Star-Times short story competition, and in 2006 she won the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Award. In 2007 she won a place in the Book Council's Six Pack prize. Her story collection Opportunity won New Zealand's premier award for fiction, the Montana medal. Another collection, Singularity, was shortlisted for the 2009 Frank O'Connor International Story Prize. She lives in Auckland.
A sly masterly novel
Full of delicious satire, Grimshaw is much lauded in New Zealand and should have entered the British consciousness long ago.
Daily Mail - Carla McKay
The unsettling juxtaposition of urbanity and blood-letting that characterises Grimshaw's other fiction keeps things edgy and jumpy here
New Zealand Herald
Grimshaw cleverly depicts a series of power struggles as her characters seek to manipulate each other, forcing the reader to question their motives.
Times Literary Supplement - Anna-Maria Ssemuyaba
Opening the pages of Charlotte Grimshaw's new novel Soon is akin to tilting the blinds in a dim room; the razor-like precision of her words flood your mind with crisp, searing light, such is the vivid clarity of her prose... It's a wonderful novel which explores morality and the extent to which we are responsible for our own actions.
TVNZ - Steph Zajkowski