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In an English seaside town, lovers and children, men and women weave in and out of each other's lives and stories.A mother is tormented by her daughter's tattoo; another only pretends to love her baby. A wife stalks her husband and his new lover; a broken egg through a mailbox tells a story that will not go away; the cat thinks he knows best.Threaded throughout are longings for love and poignant disappointments, surprising pleasures and temptations. Some will fall but some, like the small boy at the circus who sees his babysitter fly past on a trapeze wearing little more than a blue bra and spangles, will retain their feeling of awe. The stories in Perfect Lives are rueful, knowing, witty, poignant, bashful, bold. Polly Samson's genius is in the nuance.