by Linda Grant
REVIEWED BY VICK BOUGHTON
Vivien Kovacs knows little about her parents’ past. When her dad’s estranged brother shows up at the family’s pokey London flat in a flashy suit, she wonders how he could possibly be related to her. Years later, in the ’70s, Vivien and her uncle, a slumlord just out of prison, meet again. Their unlikely relationship is at the heart of this thoughtful, elegant novel. And, yes, clothes play a role: A vest, a jacket, a slinky dress help shape their wearers’ identities, sometimes without their knowing it.