I love books about friendship, and this must be up there among the best. Although it took me a while to settle into it, once the cast of characters began to build around ‘Average Jo’ I was enthralled, and wanted to know more about them.

When Jo’s uncle develops dementia and her relationship breaks down, she goes to London to look after his stationery and hardware shop. Isolated and lonely, her confidence in shreds, she meets some of the people living and working around her, including Ruth, the runaway vicar, and Malcolm, a retired analyst who buys a new notebook every week. And slowly, maybe a little too slowly, their friendship begins to form.

This book is rich in vivid detail; about the settings, the characters, and the ghosts who may or ma not walk on Christmas Eve in Highgate Cemetery. Although there were small parts of the plot I did not like, they didn’t detract from the whole and I was left in awe of the writer’s skill.