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The first of Robinson's novels is a beautiful, haunting book. It is a 'thin plot' style of book, no big drama, no convoulted storyline, but it does have beautifully written characters and an atmospheric exploration of human relationships.
The story revolves around two orphaned girls who end up living with thier eccentric and slightly odd aunt. Though she undoubtedly loves the girls, she has very unusual ideas about bringing them up, and about what is acceptable in a small backwater town. The book sees the girls come to terms with the struggle of trying to grow up and blend in with the rest of their community as their aunt becomes increasingly more insular, and a worry to them.
This book is quiet and gentle, exquisitly crafted so every word counts, and surrounds you in it's chilly wintery atmosphere completely.
This novel was voted one of the Guardian's top 100 novel of all time, and once I read it, it was very obvious why.