Janina Reston is a language expert, translating fiendishly tricky
Arabic and Asian mathematical and scientific texts. Words are her world. But
she can’t find any to share with her husband Owen. Instead, she confides in a
spider named Gladys (who may or may not be her deceased grandmother).
She lives in an ordinary city suburb where extraordinary things
happen. Lily’s husband dies in a strange accident with a milk bottle, while
Fatima writes biographies of unknown people living seemingly inconsequential
lives, and Zosia – whose most daring adventure thus far has been replacing
jelly and ice cream with lemon meringue pie – runs off to Delhi with an Asian
Women’s Sewing Group.
Written with zest, zeal and humour (powered by
numerous biscuits and, on a good day, cake), June Wentland’s debut novel is a
surreal journey through the avenues and alleyways of everyday life. But forget
dull domesticity. This is a suburb where dense jungle leaves creep through the
patio door when you’re putting the kettle on, where porcelain shepherdesses
have evil intent, and where a seven-legged arachnid can be a wise companion for
a woman at the end of her tether.