Released on 31 May 2012.

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Absinthe For Elevenses

3.28 based on 19 ratings & 1 reviews on


In this sparkling and ironical study of the complexities of love, Ginny Barnes is wrenched out of her suburban cul-de-sac into a brutal five-star passion and forced to choose between her decaffeinated, low-cholesterol husband Ian and her high-calorie lover Caldos de Roche, a gourmet psychoanalyst who seeks fame and fortune by selling Happiness like hamburgers.

De Roche is aiming to transform not only what he sees as his impotent profession, but also once-a-Catholic Ginny, still tied to home and children, and obsessed with guilt and sin. Far from impotent himself, he woos her with heavenly pleasures, combining sacred and profane, making highly unconventional love to a background of church music, and trying to coax a dazzling social butterfly from a drab and cosy chrysalis.

The new glossy, gift-wrapped Ginny, torn between the risk of eternal damnation by a God she only half believes in and the god she sees in Caldos himself, discovers that even heaven-on-earth can be hell . . .

‘Sexy, funny . . . most accomplished’ Now

‘A quite exceptional first novel . . . a tour de force . . . beautifully handled . . . I predict a glittering future for its author’ The Scotsman

‘One of those outrageous books which compel you to read on’ She