"Coral Glynn" by Peter Cameron - repression, sharp angles and unanticipated swerves

In his sixth novel, Coral Glynn, Peter Cameron tells an almost love story with an unsettling tone.  In her review on the NPR radio program, Fresh Air, Maureen Corrigan writes "everyone is courageously repressed; women wear drab colors like "fawn," and the kettle is always on. Pull up a chair by the fire and settle in, but don't get too lulled by the domestic setting, because Cameron's writing is full of sharp angles and unanticipated swerves into the droll and the downright weird."

Here is an example from early in the book of Cameron's dark tale of characters with limited lives:

Robin went up to the bar and got two more pints of ale.  As he sidled back across the crowded room, he saw his friend sitting alone at their little table in the dim lamplight, staring down at his two hands, which were placed before him on the table-top.  He appeared to be studying them for some obscure reason, as if he might be asked to identify them from a large assortment of severed hands at some later date.  Robin stopped for a moment, struck by the beauty of Clement's sad face, and felt his love for his friend as an almost unbearable pain.

Highly recommended. You can order your copy here from A Great Good Place for Books.