Keep Your Hands On The Wheel

Published in hardback by Phoenix House (Orion) in June 1999- Southern Arts Writer’s Bursary – Adapted for BBC Radio

‘Heyman has produced a riveting blend of wit and poignancy, harmonic in structure, that triumphantly confirms her reputation as a great literary entertainer’

– Scotland on Sunday

‘The powerful spell the past can cast on the future, particularly when it is not acknowledged, is beautifully worked in this colourful and compassionate tale. And Heyman’s impressively chameleon writing—now sparkling, then striking, twisting to ticklingly humoruous, then gently poetic—shines a bright light on the past itself in vivid, revelatory flashbacks…. It is brilliant.’

– Scotsman

‘The myth that second novels never match up to that eye-catching, prize-nominated debut permeates the publishing industry, and it’s a myth that Heyman’s powerful follow-up to The Breaking dismisses with ease… Keep Your Hands on the Wheel shows Heyman really growing into a writer of distinction… This is a remarkable novel, funny and heartbreaking at the same time.’

– Glasgow Herald

‘Here is writing of the most assured kind….’

– The Australian

‘I loved it. I was swept along by its exuberance—and like all true comedies, sensed the underlying sadness, so subtly touched upon… very deft, never lost momentum at all.’

– Margaret Forster

Keep Your Hands on the Wheel skillfully employs the suburban Australian argot while bouncing around a number of pop-cultural themes. These form the building blocks of a story told in three voices, those of the two sisters and a not-so-omnipotent third-person narrator, standing in for the unstable jumble of childhood memory. The reader negotiates a maze of issues pertaining to a familybreakup and a mysterious incident that is at the heart of the sisters’ estrangementfrom each other and their home. The suspense involved in this slowly unfolding revelation is ironically parallelled by preparations for the wedding… Heyman eventually extricates her characters from their predicaments in a way that insultsneither the reader’s intelligence nor good humour.’

– Toronto Eye (Canada)