A perceptive novel from our favourite chronicler of the dilemmas of modern family life
Catherine and Caroline, Toby and Mark were globetrotting siblings: British 'diplo-brats', whose childhood homes lay in Italy or Israel, France or Washington DC - wherever their father was posted at the time. But all that was years ago. Now Catherine is approaching middle-age, married to a life of cheeseparing selflessness looking after young offenders on a chilly organic farm; Mark is a prim supermarket executive, Caroline a wealthy Kensington wife, and Toby - well, Toby is a problem. The joker in the pack. He always was. Amid growing tensions, marriage-fatigue and unspoken resentments, the apparent tragedy of Toby's disappearance jolts his sisters and brother into making angry, anxious journeys: from California to Flanders, back in time and into their own hearts.
A feel-good novel ... hilarious ... humorous ... fabulously incisive - Independent
Purves' novel of ordinary lives is compelling, her perceptions are acute ... sophisticated and skilful - Daily Telegraph
Libby Purves' prose is clean, sharp and in touch with things that matter - Valerie Grove, The Times
Libby Purves is a writer and also a broadcaster who has presented the talk programme Midweek on Radio 4 since 1984 and formerly presented Today. She is a main columnist on the Times and in 1999 was named the Granada "What the Papers Say" Columnist of the Year, and awarded a O.B.E for services to journalism. She lives in Suffolk with her husband the broadcaster and writer Paul Heiney.