By Madeleine Kingsley, December 4, 2008
At Belgrave Hall, small girls of great privilege are hothoused by a fine headmistress, Lily Lidbury. The exclusive prep school on which Shirley Eskapa’s deft, dark new novel, In a Naked Place (Quartet, £15) centres, seems safe as high-end houses before the credit crunch.
Such is its cachet that parents put their daughters’ names down almost before the Apgar score is recorded. The yummiest mummies jostle for pride of place on the PTA. But Lily’s consummate professionalism conceals the loneliness of ongoing bereavement.