About A Diamond in the Sky

Diamond in the Sky cover

Dora Clayton spends a lot of time watching the mobile above her daughter's cot and listening to it play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Taking her niece and nephew skating on Saturdays and star-gazing with the local astronomical society are her only escapes from a reality she can't face. But there's one star she never wants to look at. It's Capella in the constellation Auriga. In Greek myth, Capella is the nanny goat who gave milk to the infant Zeus... Dora's baby daughter Jo died three years ago. For Dora, it might have happened yesterday.

Tom Ross is in crisis, ejected from his teaching job in a West London comprehensive for a forbidden relationship with an A-level student. Melanie Baines is now pregnant, though she denies the child is his - not that anyone believes her, especially not Tom or her furious dad. When Tom needs to think, he goes for long night-time walks. He always looks for Capella, the bright star near the zenith in winter which has held a fascination for him since boyhood. The trouble is, some nights she's dark – whether she's shining or not...

Lonely maintenance man Larry Wise, who shares a workplace with Dora, wants her to be his friend – and maybe more? Dora tries to be nice, but Larry's awkwardness and odd ways get on her nerves.

Brought together in Oxford by their respective siblings, Dora and Tom spend a night in Wales that changes their perspective on their problems with potentially tragic results. Tensions mount even higher when Larry's elderly mother has a stroke and he needs help to cope.

Capella is one of those stars which don't quite set at British latitudes. Whether you want to see her or whether you'd prefer to close your eyes, there's one thing you can never be sure of: that she's not seeing you.