A rather pointless book, but not by all accounts; the Internet fairly abounds with praise for this book. Carter is apparently a “master of seductive, luminous storytelling”. According to Ian McEwan this book is a series of “Magnificent set pieces of fastidious sensuality”. Many people think the stories are clever, and they desperately want to be, but they seem to be little or nothing else, as stories. I found the figurative language not just overdone, as it no doubt is meant to be, but to fall flat each time: “A choker of rubies two inches wide, like an extraordinary precious slit throat.” This is not a metaphor which doesn’t work, as metaphors are wont to do, the kind of anti-metaphor of which T S Eliot is the master, but a metaphor which doesn’t do anything, just like each of her stories, which leave the reader wondering: what was the point of that?