Published by Abacus
A dry look at the idyllic life of a picturesque English village.
‘It wasn’t his fault that he couldn’t say no to his wife. The truth was his manners were so perfect they threatened his direct impulses with total extinction’ Peter Skeffington is a polite man approaching middle age by means of a growing communications gap with his wife. The silent rift centres upon Peter’s desire for, and Lucy’s resistance to, the adoption of Danny, inmate of a local home for young offenders. Pendbury is hardly a stock village; picturesque consolation lies thin on the ground. The vicar’s crookback companion obsesses over animals right, whispering mantra-like his favourite word ”utensil, utensil” to steel his nerve for attack. The garage owner is a religious maniac who insists on family names being drawn from the Bible and is rewarded for his piety by a pair of granddaughters, Jezebel and Salome, who live up to their names. Nothing is as simple as it seems in Peter’s life, or in the thatch-roofed Arcadia that is the English village of Pendbury.