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Caroline : A Mystery
Random House UK
Mr Shaw works for an insurance company, at a desk, in an office, in a city. One year, during his family summer holiday, his world is turned upside down when he meets Caroline. Caroline, whose eyes a man could drown in. Caroline, who likes a spring onion or two. Caroline, who is in fact a donkey. To the outrage of his neighbours and the quiet bemusement of his wife, he walks her back to the city, builds her a stable and spends the evenings encouraging her talent for playing chess. She accompanies him to his office, charms his colleagues, earns a very positive annual appraisal and is missed more than her master when he retires. Most importantly, Caroline has reawoken something in Mr Shaw that had seemed lost, some appetite for life and its possibilities, and a sense of the extraordinary that lives within the everyday. But can this idyll last? Are chess, radish tops and trips to the museum enough to nourish a relationship? Or despite the love lavished on her, does Caroline secretly yearn for broader horizons? Unfolding with the beauty and power of fable, Caroline depicts a glorious Indian summer in one manís life. It is tender, very funny and endlessly enjoyable.
Cornelius Medvei†is the author of†Mr Thundermug.