CHANGE OF HEART, by Barbara Anderson (Victoria University Press, $27.95); YET ANOTHER GHASTLY CHRISTMAS, by Shonagh Koea (Vintage, $26.95).
Wellington writer Barbara Anderson's novel Change of Heart is the story of Oliver Gurth Perkins, an elderly dentist with an "adequate but not grotesque" moustache, and a fondness for cryptic crosswords. His story is interrupted by interludes from long-suffering wife Hester and their middle-aged drifter son Copper. After a "cardiac incident" and a spell in hospital, Oliver - a self-confessed "Good Enough Father" - resolves to change his ways and make up for 40 years of benign neglect of his wife.
But Oliver soon discovers that his son wants to abandon his WINZ career and return to university, ...
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