AUSTRALIAN. North Coast, New South Wales. Clementine is twenty-five and still living in the place where she grew up, rooted there by memories and her own inability to make changes until she has understood her past. The past is dominated by memories of her mother, and her mother, and her mother's attempts to dramatise and enrich small-town life and the perceptions of her three clever, receptive daughters. But only Clementine has stayed. Is this out of loyalty to her mother's memory? Or to comfort her father? Perhaps she wants to find peace with Hugh, her earnest husband in whose house she most uncomfortably lives? Or is the lure Thomas, who alone can appreciate Clementine's own sensuality, and her humour, but who must remain another of her secrets. In The Mint Lawn, Gillian Mears has written a wonderful debut novel which will be read with pleasure and remembered with joy. 'Gillian Mears writes like an angel.