Michele is a successful business woman with a troubled private life. She has a high-powered job, a family, a husband, yet she is defined by a term of possession: she is 'Clara's daughter'. Nameless. When Michele moves her mother into the basement, her husband slams the door and disappears into the night. Michele increasingly hides away upstairs, as Clara weaves her conspiracies beneath.
Clara's Daughter begins in terraced houses and city parks of North London but develops, through sharp-edged monologues and surreal visions, into a primeval stand-off between mother and daughter. Eventually, Clara - the controlling matriarch - finds a way to release her daughter. But can Michele release herself?
Meike Ziervogel is a master of suspenseful storytelling. In Clara's clandestine power games and Michele's increasingly fraught dealings with both her mother and her own highly-strung sister, Hilary, there emerges a chilling, yet poignant family tableau. Devastating in its psychological insights, Clara's Daughter reveals unnerving truths about relationship anxieties on many levels, which emerge not only from Ziervogel's elegant, succinct descriptions, but build steadily from the tense, silent spaces between the unfolding of main events. A divinely-crafted, almost cinematic novella, Clara's Daughter is at once startling, moving and intensely enduring.
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