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The narrator of Salvage - a woman in her early thirties - has decamped from her hectic Manhattan lifestyle to set up home in rural Virginia, and has moved into a house she has fallen in love with. She is escaping a trauma, suffered on the New York subway; but she's also fighting demons from her childhood. Her mother, Lois, miscarried when she was a child, and the imagined product of this pregnancy - a closet-dwelling pyromaniac with a synesthetic concept of the world named Nancy - haunted her for many years.

Lois - her mother - is the other problematic relationship in her life. Bizarrely unhinged and increasingly eccentric, it seems that she's developing close friendships with various Saints from the Dark Ages. The narrator fears for her sanity and makes enquiries at a care home for the elderly. But when the Saints actually start to turn up for dinner and drinks, smoking and talking and flirting, the reality of her world seems to be under threat.

An extraordinarily poetic novel about home and our place within it; about mothers and daughters and the complexity of their relationship; and about inherited trauma and loss, Salvage announces the arrival of an incredibly talented new novelist.

Author Jane F. Kotapish
Pages 290
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  • Store location: Palmerston, Otago, NZ

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