Central to the story is the convention that, on marriage, a woman does not speak to anyone, except in private to her husband, until the birth of her first child.
Through a subtly-entwined narrative which tells the tale from a variety of perspectives, Pugh crafts a story at once tender and thought-provoking, forcing the reader to confront the prejudices and preconceptions of contemporary sophistication. This is a novel of rare depth, power and ambiguity, its central metaphor reaching beyond the lives of its characters, parallelling our modern dilemma: does the abandonment of tradition leave us only with rootlessness and dislocation?
Sheenagh Pugh is known to thousands of poetry readers for 'Sometimes', her much anthologised 'poem on the underground' and for her Selected Poems, a set text in schools. She currently lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan, and has won numerous prizes for her work, including the Babel Prize for translation and the ACW Book of the Year in 2000.