Nina Bawden's Booker Prize nominated "Circles of Deceit" is a mildly engaging but intriguing family drama with memorable characters and a sprinkling of secrets to keep you enthralled. Out of print for some time, it is good to see it back on the book shelves. Those expecting jaw dropping revelations from the closet will be disappointed. There aren't any real shockers. Bawden's skill lies in weaving a modest tale of deceit, which she reveals using clues subtly planted on the canvass of a copy painting. Common, petty deceits borne of human weaknesses and foibles that may not shatter lives instantly but as sure as night follows day work their poison given the right time and place. The painter narrator is somebody you identify with. It could just be you. His unfaithful ex-wife Helen is a testy, unhappy, and selfish woman whom you almost emphathise with. Clio, the narrator's child-wife, a cloying, whining creature, you feel like slapping. She must be the most irritating personality to have been given life on print. Then there are others like mother Maisie, aunt Maud and Ned who are so funny and each so vividly drawn they come to life on the pages. Bawden also writes like a dream. The prose that flows from her pen is smooth, witty, honest and an absolute joy to read. "Circles of Deceit" is a well written, tightly structured novel that will not change your life but it'll add to it.