When Angelica invents a fictional alter ego, Elena, she is forced to admit that she is no longer happy with her perfectly ordinary life. Jimmy, on the other hand, is perfectly happy with his, and is horrified when his wife of eight years abruptly adopts the persona of the exuberant Elena and sets out to conquer the world... and his oldest friend, Tiger.
Tiger, who hasn't seen Jimmy for years, doesn't know whether to be amused or scared by Angie’s sudden attempts at seduction. Young Sinead loves the exuberant personality of her new friend Angie, and cannot imagine her being any different. And there's Norah, whose precariously balanced world is shaken when her daughter's strange behaviour revives a past she has tried hard to forget.
Meanwhile Elena, more real than imagined, is biding her time...
Set in Sydney at the exciting time of the 2000 Olympic games, this is a novel about the chemistry of 'madness', the anatomy of love, the volatility of lust, the power of resilience, and the importance of finding the right measure of exuberance in life.
'A powerful journey of the human mind'
I loved this book. It is full of real heart and feeling for the trauma of mental illness and how it touches a whole family in their struggle to recalibrate their lives after Angie (the book's heroine) is diagnosed with bi-polar. There is humour and warmth as well as the realistic darkness of the journey for Angie as a wife, daughter and friend. (A reader's review)