The settings that Elaine Greer employs to capture the feelings that she puts her characters through are ones that give us the sense that there's nothing like a little complexity to send the surefooted bumbling. It's like having one of those hallways that we've all seen in a movie or two - once or twice in a Bugs Bunny short chase scene - where all of the doors lead to somewhere unexpected. A person can open the door from that shabbily carpeted hallway and they're suddenly at the North Pole or in the middle of stampede of cows.
They're forced to react - shocked about being where they happen to be at the moment, but the door has closed behind them and it won't lead back to where they came from. Getting back to that hallway will be a real task that will have to be worked out internally. They don't want to be here, but they'll deal with their new space and their disbelief in their own way.
Greer tends to write about the lives and times in a way that makes them feel as if they've drifted into some kind of twilight zone. It's not one that's terrifying or twisted, just one that deserves some explanation. It deserves some kind of contemplation and assessment before it will feel comfortable. These are awkward moments that don't give the impression that they're going to be too defining, but they're going to be difficult to see through - just as a good, thick as tomato soup fog would be. She sings, "My mind doesn't know what this vacancy means," and it's the case of having what she has known all along be pickpocketed from her. She didn't see the thief. One second it was there and the next it wasn't - and that's quite a lot to process.