From the opening story about a married woman who takes a trip to the city with a single purpose in mind – to sleep with another man – Antarctica draws you into a world of obsession, betrayal and fragile relationships. In ‘House Calls’, Cordelia wakes on the last day of the twentieth century and sets off along the coast road to keep a date with her lover that has been nine years in the waiting. In ‘The Singing Cashier’, a local postman visits two sisters bearing fishy gifts in the hope that his favour will be returned in kind. One of the most moving and disturbing stories in the collection,
‘Passport Soup’, features Frank Corso, who sits alone eating green tomatoes and bacon, mourning the disappearance of his nine-year-old daughter: ‘At one point in that late evening, she was there, and then she wasn’t.’
Keegan’s characters inhabit a world where dreams, memory and chance can have crippling consequences for those involved. Compassionate, witty and unsettling, Antarctica is a collection to be savoured.