An outrageously comic novel documents a middle-aged writer and mother's grappling with mid-life crisis—her husband's and her own.
Preoccupied with her fledgling literary career, intent on the all-consuming consolations of philosophy, and scrambling to meet the demands of her four children, the acutely myopic and chronically inattentive Vita Glass doesn’t notice that her house and her marriage are competing to see which can fall apart fastest. Meanwhile, Vita’s eldest son is embarking on his professional career as a teenaged stoner, her eldest daughter can’t be seen in public with her lest she succumb of mortal embarrassment, her younger son’s gerbils won’t stop having babies, and the baby of the family suffers debilitating grief over certain memories, including the thought of the Cats soundtrack and that one time she stepped on a hornet’s nest. Plus the family dog is a Greek chorus of puke. Vita can barely find time for her writing career, and just when her newfound success in vegetable erotica is beginning to take off. Our heroine’s only tried and trusted escape is the blissful detachment of Keith's hairdressing salon, but when her husband leaves the country, unannounced, she decides to do likewise—in the opposite direction, and with their children. Drawn from the pages of Vita’s journal, this outrageously comic novel documents Vita's passage through a mid-life crisis and explores all the ways we deceive each other and ourselves.
About the author
Born in England, Pauline Holdstock came to Canada in 1974. Her first novel, The Blackbird's Song, was a finalist in the WH Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award in 1987. Her 2004 novel Beyond Measure was nominated for the Giller Prize. Her writing has appeared in Exile, Event, Grain, NeWest Review, Malahat Review, Flare and Antigonish Review among others. She lives in Sidney on Vancouver Island.
Praise for Pauline Holdstock
“Holdstock writes powerfully in Frankie’s voice, drawing readers into his internal life … absorbing.”
—Quill & Quire
“Pauline Holdstock enchants with a spell of delectable storytelling … the novel’s wonderment and delight in the possibilities of life is an effervescent tonic.”
“Captivating … An intriguing mystery … The novel finds its way with charming intrigue and humour.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“Holdstock’s writing moves seamlessly between her research and her polished storytelling of people, landscape and grief. These are familiar preoccupations, but she continues to make them compelling and rich.”
“Pauline Holdstock’s language is so powerful, her writing so wrought with emotion and beauty, that you become fully lost in her world.”