Stuffed, the debut novel by veteran journalist Sarah Junkin, asks readers the following question:
What lies would you tell if you were trapped in a bad marriage to an abusive taxidermist?
Desperate to find the warmth missing from her life, Hadley impulsively joins a neighbourhood Alcoholics Anonymous group. She’s never been much of a drinker, but at AA she finds the acceptance she’s been longing for from a gang of eccentric former drunks. All she has to do is pretend she’s a recovering alcoholic, keep her husband from finding out where she’s spending her time— and try not to fall in love with another man.
In Hadley’s oddly skewed world, waiters work in wheelchairs, swan-necked goddesses are infertile, and superstar taxidermists wear ties to work. Surrounded by a cast of quirky and flawed characters and artfully restored but very dead animals, Hadley learns that her internal damage is no worse than anyone else’s. And that no one—not even Giles the headless goat—is beyond restoration.
Stuffed is a fast-paced darkly comic rollercoaster ride that challenges readers’ perceptions about emotional abuse, alcoholism, physical handicaps, and the fine art of restoring damaged creatures to life.