PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 October, 2004, 12:00am


by Tim Binding

Picador $101

Four families from a peaceful cul-de-sac in northern England deal with the repercussions of the Falklands war in 1982. The main characters are shoe salesman Richard Roach and his wife, Ellen. Matty and Suzanne Plimsoll work on the ocean liner Canberra. Hector and Marjorie Armstrong are still mourning for their child, Henry, lost in Piccadilly Circus in the last great London fog of 1952. Freddie and Patsy Millen start a magazine about lawnmowers. Henry the lost child meets Richard when they're both Wimbledon ball boys. He then turns up on board the Canberra and falls in love with Hector and Marjorie's neighbour, Suzanne. Characters such as Freddie, with his lawnmower obsession, often come across as caricatures in a forced plot.




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