The latest paperback edition of the novel is a slim pages, and is filled with writing that is so light and perfectly stitched that the threads are barely visible. Reading each page is like looking down from above at a fish in a pool — the detail dappled and quick but the impression completely understood. In she moved to New York with her parents and spent that decade working for the United Nations. It was not a happy time for her although it had its highlight — her year in Italy which resulted in The Bay of Noon, her second novel.
Jenny, the protagonist, is caught, just like the author was, between the male bureaucracy of NATO and the exuberant extravagance of Naples. The tone makes the book feel supple, simple, an easy read — but it takes you far deeper than you realise. This prize was a one-off award for novels that, thirty years previously, in , had lost out when the decision was taken to no longer award the Man Booker Prize retrospectively.
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