4 June, US & UK 

Straight Up

Spoiler (for which I don't apologise, because that's the whole point). Straight Up includes the discovery of a character's trangender identity as a plot twist. I wouldn't now do something so flippant, that trans readers find so so dispiriting, and I'm sorry I did it in 2005. I was more ignorant then and more thoughtless as a result. Please note: the "reveal" is the worst of it. Trans readers and your allies, you're not going to encounter transphobia in the book. Cx

Verity Drummond is not a writer — she’s a florist — but when her husband, Kim, leaves her she deals with the pain by writing Straight Up, in which a man on a mountaineering expedition dies all alone in a hole in the ice, starving, wretched and with his broken bones poking through his skin.

In LA to meet Jasmine and Patrice who want to adapt Straight Up for the screen, and caught between the dead man up the mountain and an inability to admit that she’s just another divorcee like the rest of California, Verity becomes The Widow and the buzz around the script, now “based on a true story”, begins to grow.

Enter Phil, Kim’s oldest friend, in California studying viniculture in preparation for running his family’s wine business in Cornwall. Phil, perhaps pursuing Verity, definitely being pursued by both Patrice and Jasmine, forces our heroine into the biggest rolling snowball ,the tightest tangled web of her life.

Straight Up is a book about honesty and all the other options: stories, spin, delusions, blinkers, evasion and downright lies.

"Almost unputdownable ... it made me laugh and cry."


"Great for a giggle.  This is a cautionary tale of telling white lies"