Ed fits kitchens in the small family business in London, and he’s wondering if there isn’t more to life. So when Marcus, a client in banking, offers him an extra job refurbishing a cottage in Stromness he thinks, why not? Orkney is certainly a welcome change of scene from Bermondsey, and the work’s easy enough. Then Marcus’ sister Claire arrives, all city power and perfume, and events take an unexpected turn. The Stromness Dinner is an offbeat, entirely readable novel about relationships. Beautifully observed, gently humorous, it is a very human and contemporary story about how we live today, and what happens when two people follow their dreams. Peter Benson has created a new sort of ‘hero’ in Ed Beech, whose homespun philosophy of life stays in the memory long after the novel ends.