Blending realism and black humour in this collection of linked stories, Bruneau lays bare the quirkiness of fate, as well as the simple spirit by which people manage to transcend it. This astonishingly lucid collection of sixteen pieces is set variously in urban and small-town Nova Scotia, Vancouver, and southwestern England. Concerned though it is with growing up in the sixties and surviving to the millennium, it is also as varied as the fish that dart through undersea dreams in the title story. While following the protagonist's coming-of-age in the sixties and seventies, her career as a marine biologist, her marriage, motherhood and middle age, the stories encompass a spectrum of characters related to her by blood and/or circumstance, seldom by choice. Happiness is elusive, like the skimming-smoke residue of a dream. Life in these dying years of the century is accompanied by isolation, loneliness, and, sometimes, fear. But beneath the angst, there's a resilience, the poignant need to trust and be trusted, a simple faith in others and in good old-fashioned luck.
Each story is as succulent as a chocolate, to be savoured in the same way. Bruneau's talents are in the ascendancy cycle. This collection showcases the unusually powerful gifts of a writer of international stature.