She writes like a dream, does Rose Tremain. Short stories aren't normally my thing, but Rose Tremain writes novels as if she is magic so I took a punt that her short stories would be just as stunning. And this collection is. I am in awe as to the diversity of her stories and where she gets her ideas from - the arrival of Leo Tolstoy on his death bed at a in-the-middle-of-nowhere railway station; the real Mrs Danvers from Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca; a woman farwelling her young child off to boarding school; an elderly couple deciding to run away; a man and his dog boarding kennels. Some of the stories are happy, others are sad, some disturbing. If there is any common thread or theme here, I am far too unanalytical to spot it or try finding it! Each story is carefully crafted, complete in its own way, some longer than others, some more memorable than others. And all showing a slice of life, a baring of the soul of the narrator. Just wonderful.