Not since Kate Atkinson’s ‘Behind the Scenes at the Museum’ has there been such a sparklingly original and exceptional debut by a new writer.
Theobald Moon hopes to satiate the yearnings of his hungry soul (and considerable belly) when he leaves south London to start a new life in the Arizona desert. Planting a cactus garden around his mobile home where he can star-gaze and practise yoga, Theo provides a haven of security for his small daughter Josie, weaving around her a gossamer web of fairy stories and belief in an ordered universe.
But as his little Jelly-O grows into disaffected adolescence, there are questions she asks which Theo refuses to answer. When the terrible truth emerges, we discover a man whose actions may be reprehensible but who is portrayed with such intelligent humanity that we may find it impossible to condemn him.
Bold, quirky and youthful, there is no mistaking Susan Elderkin’s voice. ‘Sunset Over Chocolate Mountains’ is an astonishing debut.