No one had expected it to be easy. A barge holiday in England, where they would have to function as a team again: Luise, her husband Daniel, big brother Jasper, his good friend Can, Lea, the feisty, wise sister, now fifteen – and, also fifteen, Emma, the result of Daniel’s brief affair, was to join them. Beautiful, angelic Emma, with her long blond hair, and even longer legs, who spoke German with the sweetest Californian accent and was a photographer’s dream – Daniel is bursting with pride, as his ‘new’ daughter warms to him: perhaps she will even be the inspiration for his new exhibition.
The others are ready to welcome her too, however much the facts still hurt Luise; open Lea reaches out to her, and surely such a pretty, funny, charming creature should be easy to like. But there is something about her, Can decides, that is not quite right, a cruel streak, a dangerous recklessness, a hidden shard of ice that could well endanger the equilibrium of the family as she determinedly makes for the prize she regards as hers: Daddy.
Macabre undertones, sustained tension, shared narrative perspective, winning characters in Lea and Can, this is a read that’s full of laughter but also tears, and drama galore.