It's Dulwich; or is it?
Dulwich appears on the very first page, and re-appears with considerable frequency. But somehow, it's not quite the Dulwich we know and love. Imaginative poetic licence has enabled Louise Candlish to evoke the pleasant green of the Village and the Park without actually describing anywhere recognisably. Equally, although her Picture Gallery and its Friends are subjected to a little gentle mockery, as are the local tennis clubs, there is nothing you can quite put your finger on and say I recognise that house, that person, that road.
This fun read is set mainly in London with a trip to Granada. Canary Wharf, Isle of Dogs, Hampstead and, above all, Dulwich are the fashionable settings where the thirty something heroine explores the gaps - generation; work/home; life style; boy/girl - in her desperate attempt to win over her prospective mother-in-law - one of the great and the good of Dulwich.
The author uses the apparent serenity of the Dulwich locale to contrast with the frantic working life of Anna where office politics are played out in all their venom. Add in the heroine's sophisticated flat and her off- beat friends and the opportunities for social comment are legion. There are plenty of positive characters, all of whom you know but none of which is identifiable, there is a heroine and an anti- hero and even an anti- heroine and there is the trip to Granada thrown in. As I said, a fun read.
The Double Life of Anna Day by Louise Candlish is published by Sphere, 2006, £6.99.