Rachel Hore

High Jinks in Highbury

We Are All Made of Glue

By

Fig Tree 419pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Like Marina Lewycka’s two earlier novels, We Are All Made of Glue is a big-hearted confection of the comic and the poignant; perfect to read in bed when recovering from swine flu in the depths of a recession. Its principal setting is Canaan House in Highbury (huge, tumbledown, Victorian, a property developer’s dream), where lives a feisty, moth-eaten Jewish émigrée called Naomi Shapiro and a bag of incontinent cats. Narrator Georgie Sinclair, freelance writer for online magazine Adhesives in the Modern World, first meets this exotic neighbour rummaging in the skip in which she dumped errant husband Rip’s possessions. Naomi invites her to dinner, and the ensuing scene, in which Georgie tries not to gag on fish past its sell-by date whilst the old woman lectures her about love, is a masterly piece of burlesque. Naomi, gloriously larger than life, dominates the novel: outspoken and flirtatious, she broods over stories of tragedy and passion that are gradually revealed to Georgie. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,