New Labour politicians are struggling to stay in the closet while corrupt church leaders, hooky newspaper men and evrl gangsters-cum-PR men are thrown into a mire of questionable family histories and hypocritical Government policy. By some miracle, Brookmyre manages to incorporate all this Into bitingly fluid prose.
He takes great glee in hanging the great Scottish institutions Out to dry, the parliamentarians and clergymen are held up as the dishonest numpties we know they are tlvlark Robertson)
FAMILY DRAMA Jayne Anne Phillips
MotherKind (Jonathan Cape £15.99) ****
Jayne Anne Phillips' third novel explores the strange and sometimes sad experience of exchanging places With a parent, It’s about that period when a mother or father becomes old enough or infirm enough to need the care and attention of their child, at which time their relationship IS reversed.
In this case, it's a mother and daughter whose roles are switched Kate lives in BostOn with her husband and his two yOung sons while she is expecting their first child together. The birth of her son opens up a whole new life for Kate, but she must also come to terms with the impending death of her terminally-ill mother
Phillips aVOIds the potential melodramatic pitfall of this tale by delineating Kate's experience as wife and parent of two, new mother and carer for her parent in great detail And she gets straight to the heart of such life-changing experiences without fuss or bother. llvlrles FIC‘ldC‘rl
RELATIONSHIP FICTION Lisa Jewell Thirty-Nothing (Penguin £6.99)
While Amy Jenkins experienced stratospheric TV Success vvith This Life, the spectacular failure of her uber- hyped debut novel may mean that this post-Bridget Jones sub-genre has circled its last bar Yet, while the likes of Lisa Ralph’s Party Jewell still insist on scribbling, we can't consign them to the bargain bins quite yet
Jewell’s latest features Dig and
Nadine relivrng their angst-ridden teenage experiences, and descriptions of doomed relationships make for hilarious and grisly reading wh:ch wrll doubtless electrocute some nerve endings.
Some farcical set-pieces wrll — wrth scant imagination — make for cinematic adaptation, In a precrous Clerkenwell restaurant, Dig and gorgeous ex, Delilah, endure vomit-inducing offal delicacies; in a posh Barcelona hotel, arty photographer Nadine declares undying lust to Dig's answerphone, and a drug-fuelled sex-scene goes off in a curious cat-filled garage in Finsbury Park.
So while the genre’s survrval chances may look slim here, Dig, Nadine and Co end up wrth dream lives and even babies. (Denyse Presley)
CONTEMPORARY FICTION Fay Weldon
Rhode Island Blues (Flamingo £16.99) at 1k *
Getting old must be horrible: zrmmer frames, endless cups of weak tea, dictatorial nursing care. Not to mention, in the case of Felicity Moore, the overbearing attention of errant granddaughters.
This is the world of Rhode /s/and Blues — or at least half of it —- the other half being the life Of Felicity's film editor granddaughter Sophia. With the glee that Angela Carter brought to her pensioner protagonists in Wise Children, Weldon knits together the pacy, comic narrative of headstrong Felicity’s twrlight years, her rediscovery of love and the consequences it has for both herself and Sophia.
Weldon is as deft and as (post) modern a storyteller as anyone and in Rhode Island B/ues' miniature-epic narrative, there's more than a touch of wry humour. Things fall apart, however, as she races towards an almost slapstick finale. If only Weldon was as sharp as her aged anti-hero lLeon McDermott)
it it i it * Outstanding
tr 1k * a» Recommended * t it Worth a try
* * SO-SO
BOOKS UGUST/SEPTEMBER HIGHLIGHTS
7PM THURSDAY 21 ST SEPTEMBER
will be discussing his latest novel, set against the backdrop of the Battle of Britain
7PM TUESDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER
Oranges are Not the Only Fruit author will be discussing her new novel
7PM WEDNESDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER
Britain's best-loved actress will be in conversation about her life and work. Tickets on sale at Borders.
7PM THURSDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER
Ex Rangers footballer and Television chef will be discussing his fascinating rise to the top of his profession and the role of seasonal ingredients in his. coOking.
l2.3OPM MONDAY 9TH OCTOBER
in a rare Scottish aearonce will be sinin coies of her latest novel
7PM WEDNESDAY 12TH OCTOBER
I I/9 NEW SCOTTISH WRITING LAUNCH
The launch of the first wave of titles from Scotland’s new fiction imprint
FORTHCOMING HIGHLIGHTS OCTOBER - Nigella lawson, Willy Russell, Dennis Waterman NOVEMBER - Christopher Whyte, Gay Times Short Stories, Terry Pratchett, Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson)
98 BUCHANAN STREET, GLASGOW GI 38A TEL: CM] 222 7700 8am to l lpm, Monday to Saturday, iOam to 9pm Sunday www.bordersstores.com/stores/283
/ 2': 8.3:? 23:76 THE LIST 93