Anthony Cummins

The Shipping News

The Blue Book

By

Jonathan Cape 375pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

A L Kennedy’s new novel is a love story set on a liner bound for New York. It is told largely from the perspective of Elizabeth, a magician’s daughter in her forties, who suspects that her year-long partner Derek is about to propose on the journey. Also on board, however, is an old lover, Arthur, a Jersey-based medium who earns megabucks pretending to enable rich people to talk to their deceased kin. Elizabeth sums up her predicament thus: ‘me stuck on a boat with Derek who wants to propose instead of being otherwise stuck with Art who never will, or who might if I would let him, but I won’t. I can’t. I couldn’t.’

Follow Literary Review on Twitter