Kate Happy’s favourite books are Jane Eyre and Salem’s Lot, because they’re English and American, and so is she. It’s the early eighties and Kate is being brought up by her grandparents on their huge sprawling farm, somewhere between England and Wales.
Gran has been homesick for Coney Island for thirty-eight years, hating her husband but determinedly donning her best pink Chanel suit and high heels to step out into the muck-splattered farmyard. Grandpa is bonkers, an ex-naval Captain who wanders round the house shouting sea-faring commands. Mum’s gone AWOL since she ran over Kate’s dad in her soft-top Triumph Spitfire. And are those really Dad’s ashes in a Hellmann’s mayonnaise jar in the attic?
This is not a pastoral and isolated rural Britain. This is a time of The Specials and Ghost Town; Friday The 13th, and the riots to come.
Crackling with the darkest of dark humour, brimming with crazy ancestors and closely guarded secrets, HAPPY ACCIDENTS is a wonderful first novel that confirms Tiffany Murray as a rising star of British fiction.