As friends, relations and foes trickle in to Mortlake crematorium pay final respects to Patrick's mother, Eleanor, Patrick finds that his transition to orphanhood isn't necessarily the liberation he had so long imagined. Yet as the service ends and the family gather for a final party, amidst the social niceties and the social horrors, the calms and the rapids, Patrick begins to sense a new current. And at the end of the day, alone in his rooftop bedsit, it seems to promise some form of safety, at last. 'The main joy is the exquisite clarity of his prose, the almost uncanny sense he gives that precision and beauty invariably point to truth. A miraculously wrought piece of art' Suzi Feay, Financial Times 'Edward St Aubyn, like Proust, has created a world.