Foley and Moss are partners in a successful small business, making
plaster pixies for the tourist trade. Foley is the artistic member
of the partnership; he thinks up the ideas and designs and has
pretensions to even greater artistry in his cherub lamps and
fixtures. Moss, the seemingly quiet one who supplied the capital
for the venture, manufactures them. Barry Unsworth sets his scene
magnificently -- a Cornish village, Lanruan, thriving on specious
tourism, and its local characters: Graham, the primitive painter;
Bailey, the loud-mouthed Northerner who comes to Lanruan to make
his fortune; Barbara, the nearest thing the village possesses to a
bad girl; and above all Gwendoline, who, inadvertently, begins the
rift in the partnership between Foley and Moss.
The Partnership is a disquieting, darkly funny tale about hidden
desires and the unspoken attachments we have for one another.