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Shelf life: Looking at secular books

This is quite a tome of a book; doorstopper size and with the weight of the Orange Prize for Fiction behind it as well. It comes from an author of impeccable literary qualifications (more of which later), so I was really looking forward to reading it on what I anticipated would be a rather wet week in Scotland.

Secular Shelf Life Sarah Allen

By Barbara Kingsolver
Faber and Faber. 670 pages. £7.99
ISBN 978-0-57125-267-1