In the opening paragraph of Alice Sebold's <i>The Almost Moon</i> (Picador), the narrator Helen Knightly sets the searing tone for the rest of the novel by telling the reader: "When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily. Dementia as it descends, has a way of revealing the core of the person affected by it. My mother's core was rotten like the brackish water at the bottom of a weeks-old vase of flowers."
Okay, so maybe I am being a girl about it, but they really are gorgeous little buzzers. From their flowing metal curves and sturdy demeanor to their a cute headlamp faces, Vespas have somehow elevated themselves from mere machinery into icons of style. I've been sold on the small Italian scooters for quite some time now,writes Lisa Johnston.
When the gods created Madagascar, they panned the universe for things weird and wonderful, flung them to the heavens and let them fall willy-nilly to the island below. Anything that couldn't or wouldn't fit, it seems, was shoehorned into the capital Antananarivo -- a place so obscurely cobbled together it has the appearance of a jigsaw puzzle roughly assembled from random bits.