By Leah Greenblatt
Updated May 02, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

There’s nothing inherently remarkable about Margot Livesey’s characters: an ambitious London actress at odds with her ruminative Keats-scholar partner, and her best friend, a sweet-natured social worker consistently disappointed by her squirrelly musician boyfriend and distant father. But Livesey’s writing is so melodic, intimate, and perfectly calibrated in The House on Fortune Street that she crawls beneath the skin of each one, telling her tale from four distinct but interlocking points of view and meticulously knitting the threads into a devastating whole. It’s a work that lingers long after the last page is turned. A-