The Only Thing that Matters
Thirty years ago, when I was in a state of nervous over-excitement about the publication of my first novel, my editor gave me a copy of Theresa de Kerpely’s Arabesque to read. Her husband had published it in the UK and they both considered it remarkable. Now, it’s always tricky when someone presses a book into your hand with a speaking look and a muttered ‘amazing . . . unputdownable’ because of the very real danger that you will either founder on page one or soldier on to the end in the face of a nigh irresistible urge to de-limescale the taps instead. It’s analogous to the moment when your lifelong best friend declares her love for the patently obnoxious bloke you’ve been warning her about – you are left wondering if you ever really knew her at all.