Deftly evoking the strains of a dissolving relationship, or the ripple effect of a chance encounter, Cate Kennedy's crystalline collection opens up a world of finely observed detail. Her stories are populated by people at tipping points in their lives - moments that find them poised between a familiar past and an unfamiliar future. A cancer sufferer boards a plane with three kilos of cocaine in her luggage; a neglected wife plans an unsavoury revenge on her boorish husband; a woman helplessly watches her beloved partner slip into a coma. Each of these people must make a choice, and none is without consequence.
Dark Roots reveals the regrets, successes and unintended ironies created by life's coincidences. It is a bravura collection, by turns moving, richly comic and, above all, unerringly human.