Tracy is a kleptomaniac and a compulsive liar. A lost soul, she drifts fecklessly about, sponging off her friends with a high turnover of menial jobs as she searches for Anita. Tracy's thinks that if Anita's disappeared out of her life, then she must have disappeared out of this world, and that means detective work. But Tracy is a quintessentially unreliable, and it gradually becomes clear that it is her neurosis, rather than Anita's disappearance, that is the driving force behind her adventure. I bite the icing from the Gems because it reminds me of nipples and smoke of other people's cigarettes. Set in a northern English city in the 1980's, "Other Useful Numbers" explores a lost community of women floundering in the murky waters of economic depression, infidelity and feminist politics, and is in turns moving and hilarious. It's a novel about love, dependence, disappearance and recovery.
Sarah Broughton was born in London, grew up in Devon and then lived in Sheffield for several years before moving to Cardiff. She has worked in a variety of jobs and has written documentaries on Kathleen Ferrier, Gracie Fields and Josephine Baker for television. She is a regular contributor to the New Welsh Review, Other Useful Numbers is her first novel.