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FAKE by Roz Kay


by Roz Kay

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-8381914-0-5
Publisher: Darley Press

A Philadelphia couple whose marriage is on the rocks try to fend off their landlords, who are scheming to move back into their house, in this novel.

James Cowper is British, but he has spent his adult life in Philadelphia, married for 20 years to a nurse named Imani. They have one son who is away at college. After some financial setbacks and marriage counseling, they have moved into a historic house. James is working for a firm that secures art for auctions, but he’s had some problems there, too, and owes the owner several thousand dollars. The couple’s landlords, Bruce and Davorka Miller, have leased their home to the Cowpers for two years while the Millers have moved to Florida. But after a hurricane destroyed the home and all their possessions, the Millers have returned to Philadelphia with a plan to move back into their house and evict the Cowpers. Hanging on by only Imani’s nursing salary and the validity of the lease, James needs to get back in his wife’s good graces and also find a rare piece of art that will give him some financial security. But the Millers have house keys and are not the kind of people who will take no for an answer. Kay’s enjoyable novel has a robust plot that captures her headstrong characters’ mad dash to stay afloat in rapidly gentrifying Philadelphia. They all carry so much baggage that their eventual collision with one another in the story’s hilarious third act makes for a truly madcap dinner party like no other. The issues are many, but the dialogue is full of wit and gives clear insight into the characters’ obstinate and oftentimes amusing psyches. James is very British, but he’s after something uniquely American, and his thorny journey is written with charm and vitality.

A clever, timely tale about desperate people maneuvering through a tricky situation.