Child of Fortune is deceptively gentle and dreamlike, teetering on the edge of tragedy. It covers a year in the life of a single mother with an eleven-year-old daughter, combining a complex interior world with memorably visual imagery. The narrative is patterned with themes of loss, despair and fragmentation. It follows the course of an unexpected pregnancy which threatens to sever frayed family bonds. The story is interwoven with repressed memories of childhood dreams, missed opportunities and a trio of unsatisfactory men. There is darkness in the novel, but it is not ultimately depressing, and it concludes with a sense of optimism.