SHIFTING big country fellas at dances was the leitmotif of Anne Dunlop's early books, funny, light-hearted stories about Protestant girls in the farmlands of Derry searching for Mr Right. The Pineapple Tart and The Dolly Holiday were brimful of fun and laughs.
A darker strain is apparent in this, her first book in 10 years.
Francesca marries late, and drops like a stone from the life of a jet pilot to that of the mother of three young children.
She's living in Botswana, in a world of white professionals and their black servants. It's a 1950s sort of life, with smacks the solution to naughtiness and women all at home with the little 'uns. Then her troublemaking twin comes to visit…
A gentle and pleasant read - it's brilliant to see Anne Dunlop back at the desk, and her fans will be agog for her next book.