'She managed her practical duties effortlessly. But in Donbury she had more time to think, without the corralling influence of her parents. She couldn't help wondering if something was missing. The truth was, her upbringing had prepared her for everything, apart from coming face-to-face with herself.'A darkly humorous, quirky collection of short stories, deliberately set in an unspecified part of England. Constrained, apparently powerless women transcend their expected selves, in subtle and sometimes more flamboyant ways. Quiet daughters, mothers and wives, who seem bound to be directed and moulded by supposedly well-meaning yet controlling spouses, families and professional carers, manage to hold on to threads of their own purpose and freedom. Hope, inspiration, escape and retribution come in unanticipated forms and from improbable sources. Roles are reversed; what goes around comes around. At times deceptively light and playful, these psychologically aware stories relate to poignant, restrictive experiences that can be part of real lives. Balancing clear-sighted observation with sympathy for her characters and their human predicaments, Tanya Ravenswater aims to entertain and communicate with women, and the men who seek to love and understand them.