She's published one novel so far -- and anyone who's read it will
be hoping that she publishes many, many more... and soon.
- The Last Samurai (2000, Chatto & Windus; paperback edition
2001, Vintage. [ISBN 0 09 928462 6])
- "Sibylla, a single mother from a long line of frustrated
talents, has unusual ideas about child-rearing. Yo Yo Ma started
piano at the age of two; her son starts at three. J.S. Mill learned
Greek at three; Ludo starts at four, reading Homer as they travel
round and round the Circle Line. A fatherless boy needs male role models;
so she plays the film Seven Samurai as a running backdrop to his
childhood. While Sibylla types out back copies of Carpworld to pay
the rent, Ludo, aged five, moves on to hebrew, Arabic, and Japanese,
aerodynamics, and edible insects of the world -- they might come in handy,
if he can just persuade his mother he's mature enough to know his father's
All the above is true, but completely inadequate; it gives little hint
of the wit, humour, style, intelligence, and sheer enjoyability of the
novel. I can sympathise with the blurb-writer; it's impossible to do this
book justice in such a small space. In fact, it's impossible to do this
book justice in fewer words than the book itself. In other words, you
have to read it.
Go on, what are you waiting for?