In Rose Tremain’s teasing and brilliant title story, Evangelista’s Fan set in a disturbing dreamlike version of Regency London, a young italian clockmaker contrives a magical means, not only of repairing time, but also of unlocking the mechanism of sexual happiness. This collection demonstrates the enormous range of her talent and imagination. Here is history – Agincourt as seen by the herald who rides between the two camps – alongside such contemporary issues as mortgage debt and medical error. Here are stories set in Cornwall, Corsica, Nashville, Niagara and an unidentified city which conjures up any and every Western European capital. Here are the obstinate dreams of the old and the passionate struggles of the young; here is heartbreak and humour; and here, above all, is love in its many and varied forms.