No-one is quite what they seem in this book. A shy and lonely young woman, working in a second hand bookshop, becomes obsessed with a rather wimpish academic. The characters are difficult to like, but I was drawn into this story of complex emotions, which is simply and powerfully told.
As I let myself into the flat I reflected that it would be pleasant to know that there was someone already there, albeit in another room. I saw the point of a marriage even as discreet as my mother's. Yet what I felt was a wistfulness all my own, a dangerous longing for company.