In the aftermath of Barnaby Rivers' death, complications arise for three beautiful women: Bella, his estranged wife, his dear friend Ruth, and wicked old Jocasta. Their contrasting attitudes to their looks have helped form three very different reactions to life, in particular their attitudes to motherhood and men. Now, suddenly, nothing can go on in the old way. Barbara Else's latest novel revels in the absurdity of everyday life. The densely layered yet delicately written story ranges from Yorkshire during World War 2 to a Down-under hillside city, from antique dealing to style and fashion, from experiments in witchery and herbalism to the magic of cosmetic surgery. In the world of the three pretty widows, life is weird and laughable, and humour can relieve even the most awful of situations. The darker undertow of the past pulls against the chaotic bumbling of the present generation as the pretty widows - and their attendant menfolk - stumble towards their destiny. Looking down and commenting on it all is Barnaby himself, not sure if he's an angel or a ghost. Delighting in the absurdity and fun all around us, Barbara Else sets a cracking pace in this densely layered and yet lightly written novel. She takes us in and out of history, combining the darker undertow of the past with the farcical chaotic bumbling of the modern-day generation.