Arabella is a 30-year-old woman saddled with the care of her father for the last 10 years after her mother’s death, with no hope of escaping the home as he rages on with guilt trips and other psychological warfare. Brother Michael is a poet who’s escaped to Pakistan but ultimately contracts polio and must return. She has a torrid yet non-sexual affair with a married man, Wolf, replete with more psychological tricks to get her to like him more.
Her writing is playful, witty, descriptive. Detailing her father’s car: “His new Bentley is fully automatic, has doors as heavy as safe doors from the Bank of England, and a steel body as wide as a ping-pong table. Inside you serve from one corner of it, while burning hot air and noisy stereophonic music try to draw off your attention, subdue, drown and kill you.”