In this stellar collection of short stories, Helen Simpson explores independence, solitude, marriage, sex and babies with her characteristic blend of comedy and lyricism. Here are tales of young love - successful or thwarted, intense or comic.
From a wedding day for one, through the knotty problems of babies, their conception, arrival and impact on adult lives, to a Lothario receiving his just deserts, and the title story, where a schoolgirl's erotic daydreams during her Shakespeare homework go on to produce blushes of horror.
Of all contemporary writers, Simpson has the most honest, the most authentic voice
Her stories can be read quickly, knocked back in a single, grateful gulp like an aperitif, or savoured with a slow, cool intoxication... She is Katherine Mansfield's natural successor
Biting wit...has me laughing aloud
Simpson's wit defies formulaic feminism or, indeed, any other -ism... Very, very funny
Full of good jokes, wonderfully alert to irony and the possibilities of language