From Publishers Weekly
Twentysomething angst over the opposite sex, career malaise and anxiety regarding overall life direction unite three young New Zealand natives and a mysterious English stranger in Perkins's dry-humored first novel (her collection of stories, Not Her Real Name, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for Fiction in Great Britain). Eager to leave London, art school dropout Daniel agrees to help a friend of a friend by trafficking heroin from Thailand to New Zealand. His inexperience and stupidity soon conspire against him and he resorts to two dangerous strategies--lying and stealing--to scrape by. Professional drifter Kate hates her latest job as an usher at an Auckland movie theater. She doesn't much care either for her aging hippie mother, Ginny, or her glamorous young sister, Nina, whose constant ego-puffing compels her to scheme vindictively against Kate and others who prefer not to worship at her self-erected shrine. Kate manages to find some solace with best friend Lucy, a social worker who seems happy with live-in lover Josh until he takes in a starving, desperate Daniel and gives him whatever he needs--money, food, a friend's empty apartment. It seems only natural that lonely and in limbo Daniel and Kate should meet. Perkins's fresh and clever narrative is propelled by effects like the zinging, one-liner dialogue between Kate and Lucy, and the Jaws music (dum dum dum dum) that follows Nina everywhere she goes. Picturing the travails and triumphs of her sexy cast on variously beckoning backdrops of sea, sky and home, Perkins crafts a sophisticated and compelling tale.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Perkins' debut novel weaves in and out of the lives of a group of twentysomethings living in New Zealand. There's Daniel, who, after smuggling drugs out of Indonesia, is robbed of the $10,000 he made off the deal and left with nowhere to go. Lost, he wanders into the lives of Josh and Lucy when the former takes pity on him and offers him a job. Lucy, Josh's girlfriend, is none too pleased when Josh lets Daniel stay with them as well, but her friend Kate is curious about the stranger and vaguely attracted to him. At Josh's suggestion, Kate and Daniel take a road trip to see the country, and also to visit Kate's sister, Nina, a vixenish TV reporter who brings out all of Kate's insecurities. Perkins skillfully depicts a new lost generation: the characters move aimlessly from one thing to the next, unable to muster up much passion even when disaster strikes. A graceful and quietly powerful novel. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved