One of the delightful things about Finuala Dowling’s books is that they are local. We recognise the street names and places. We also recognise her characters because they are real and we know them or people very like them.

Margot lives in Kalk bay with her mother Zoё, who is on the irresistibly downward slope of senile dementia, and her soon-to-be-teenage daughter Pia. Also sharing the house are her lover Curtis and a psychic whom they all call Mr Morland. Ex-husband Leroy visits often and unsettlingly.

Homemaking for the Down at Heart, the book of the title is a somewhat zany ’handy hints’ published many years ago by Zoё and quoted appropriately and humorously.

There is a deep sadness in this book but always leavened by humour and, like FD’s previous books, beautifully written.

Jenny Strikland