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The Sticking Place by Jessica Mann

“A convincing and moving drama, with observation and reportage as intelligent, succinct and witty as ever with this author.” Francis Goff, Sunday Telegraph

Gus Seaton had the ideal existence – as a college professor he had the cushy job of running a private research centre on Nationalism; on television he was a charming, witty and popular commentator. His wife Rachel pursued her career as a singer of classical and liturgical music, wrapped in the security of a comfortable provincial life.

Then things begin to fall apart.

First, Gus’s right to the directorship of the research centre is bitterly attacked by a local real estate broker who launches a smear campaign asserting that Gus is involved in a Scottish nationalist terrorist group.

Then Rachel’s ‘best friend’ Lorna Hallam suggests that Gus might be seeing another woman. The comfortable surface of Rachel’s life begins to dissolve under the tension of her own well-founded fear of nationalistic ‘idealism’.

Then she discovers clues showing that there may be more than mere slander and innuendo in the charges against Gus. Her teenager daughter’s gesture of rebellion adds one more turn to the screw, as the illusion of domestic tranquillity becomes even more difficult to maintain.

In the midst of all these concerns, Rachel is forced to play the heroine in a desperate adventure by complexities of fate and conspiracy far beyond her imaginings. It is Rachel who ultimately confronts her own true self at that moment of deadly peril – at the sticking place.