Not since Penelope Fitzgerald's pen was stilled has there been so transcendent and workmanlike a novelist in English.' Candida McWilliam
Living in the shadow of Battersea power station, Anita Mostyn decides to take a holiday from her life. As a child she is dismissed by her parents in favour of her boisterous brothers, and as an adult, her choices disapproved of – the small art gallery she works for, the friends she makes, the men she sees. Mossy – the childhood nickname that stuck – is never the 'fixed point', there are girlfriends and wives for that; instead she lives on the edges of things. On a whim she decides to take up an offer to scout for holiday properties in Bulgaria, escaping the impending second wedding of her perfect brother – and a horrifying episode in her past.
With deft insight and extraordinary tenderness, Janet Davey charts the complications of family relationships, the push and pull of allegiances, as Anita navigates testing waters and little by little we begin to understand her past, and see her emerge anew.
Poignant, and absurd, sharp and wry, Janet Davey's luminous writing has reached its zenith in this depiction of a woman in free fall.
Susie Boyt, Independent
“So deliciously written that it's worth re-reading to savour the images she conjures up...it's a joy to read”
Clare Colvin, Daily Mail
“We're lucky to have such an intelligent chronicler of our present - and of the dirty, noisy beauty of contemporary London”
Tessa Hadley, Guardian
“Easy to read and oddly compelling...a memorable, and very clever, book”
Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times
“Funny and real as well as impressively sympathetic...this perceptive, engaging little novel says a great deal about human vulnerability, resilience and the passivity that too often goes unnoticed.”
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
“The book is studded with gem-like observations of this privileged English family, whose preoccupations are 'schooling, property and the form of things'. Davey brilliantly observes the mix of obstinacy and pride - the fortitude - required to survive such a heritage. By Battersea Bridge is itself a kind of verbal still life, with exquisite and revelatory strokes wherever you look”
Jon Canter, Lady
“Anita is an immediately recognisable psychological type, the product of a pressurized upbringing… This personality type is realistically portrayed as every detail in the novel, down to the smell of boiling turkey stock in her ageing parents’ Hampshire home.”
Ophelia Field, Observer
“Stylish and mesmerising.”
“The glinting briskness of Davey's prose, the acuteness of her observations and the crispness of her wit keep the pages swiftly turning”
Stephanie Cross, TLS
“Davey is a subtle and delicate writer, and this is an excellent study of modern alienation”
William Leith, Evening Standard
“A subtle and beautifully written book that succeeds at the difficult task of capturing how real life actually feels”
Emma Hagestadt, Independent