From the moment you open the pub door in that North London suburb you smell the 1970s. The raucous laughter in the corner draws you to the Jones family: dark, dysfunctional and drunk. The sense of period and place are painstakingly recreated. You roll with the punches as Colette tries to hold her large extended family together as alcohol takes its deadly toll. This is a long read with surprising humour which lightens the tragedy and pain. While reading you are unaware of turning the pages because you are there along with the family. Powerful without ever becoming melodramatic or sentimental.
By now the doorbell was ringing every few minutes and the flat slowly filling with guests - Ryan and Ewan, two regulars from The Carpenters Arms, Mimi, fashion student at Ponders' End polytechnic, Callan and Rick, members of the Socialist Workers party, Tipi, a tarot card reader from the Lee Valley, Bernadette and Geraldine, old school friends of Juliette's .... There were many people Juliette didn't recognise, or recognized only as faces that usually bobbed around in the background at The Quiet Woman or The Carpenters Arms. Juliette slowly gathered from overhearing the conversations of these people, that many had come to the party on the strength of a rumour that there was to be a confrontation between Bill and Boris, on the one hand, and Veronica and Hugo on the other. Some, it seemed, had even been press-ganged by Bill and Hugo as support should any such confrontation erupt.