Beautifully written, brilliantly observed and ultimately optimistic, this novel by one of New Zealand's finest writers powerfully captures those times when death puts life on hold.
Sheff is disillusioned with journalism and, with plans to travel overseas, chucks in his job. But first he goes south to Alexandra, where his father is dying. He becomes caught up with his family in the agonising inertia of waiting for approaching death. Slowly he comes to terms with suppressed issues of loss, love, resentment and commitment, and acknowledges he must reach out for new relationships. Sheff's gradual transformation - sometimes darkly humorous, sometimes disconcerting - is handled with insight and subtlety and is totally convincing.