‘This is Graham Swift at his impressive best’ Times Literary Supplement
On a midsummer’s night, Paula lies awake, Mike, her husband of twenty-five years, asleep beside her, her two teenage children, Nick and Kate, sleeping in nearby rooms. The next day, she knows, will define all their lives.
As morning approaches, Paula recalls the years before and after her children were born. Her story is both a celebration of love possessed and a moving acknowledgement of the fear of loss, the fragilities, illusions and secrets on which even our most intimate sense of who we are can rest.
‘Paula talks the way that people actually talk . . . this is part of Swift’s overwhelming honesty as a writer: he writes the way that life goes’ Anne Enright, Guardian
‘The rhythms of long-term partnership become the rhymes of the narrative itself . . . a subtle picture emerges of how coupledom is deepened by parenthood’ Robert MacFarlane, Sunday Times
‘As assured and subtle as ever . . . Swift artfully reminds us that no set of relationships is ever free from complication and concealment’ Spectator
‘Paula’s anguish is beautifully captured, as is her tenderness towards her loved ones’ Mail on Sunday