SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION
THE BOOK EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT
‘Just read it. It’s unforgettable’
India Knight, The Sunday Times
‘It is impossible to read this novel and not be moved. It is also impossible not to laugh out loud… Extraordinary’
‘Full of snappy one-liners but, at the same time, remarkably poignant’
‘Probably the best book you’ll read this year’
Mail on Sunday
‘Completely brilliant. I think every girl and woman should read it’
‘Exactly the book to read right now, when you need a laugh, but want to cry’
‘The most wonderful, heartbreakingly gorgeous novel of the year’
Elizabeth Day, author of Magpie
‘A raucously funny, beautifully written, emotion-bashing book’
‘I was making a list of all the people I wanted to send it to, until I realised that I wanted to send it to everyone I know’
Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House
‘One of those “read it in one sitting and tell all your friends” kind of books‘
‘Patrick Melrose meets Fleabag. Brilliant’
Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures
Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick. A gift, her mother once said, not everybody gets.
So why is everything broken? Why is Martha – on the edge of 40 – friendless, practically jobless and so often sad? And why did Patrick decide to leave?
Maybe she is just too sensitive, someone who finds it harder to be alive than most people. Or maybe – as she has long believed – there is something wrong with her. Something that broke when a little bomb went off in her brain, at 17, and left her changed in a way that no doctor or therapist has ever been able to explain.
Forced to return to her childhood home to live with her dysfunctional, bohemian parents (but without the help of her devoted, foul-mouthed sister Ingrid), Martha has one last chance to find out whether a life is ever too broken to fix – or whether, maybe, by starting over, she will get to write a better ending for herself.
THE BOOK OF THE YEAR
An instant Sunday Times bestseller and a book of the year for the Times and Sunday Times, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Mail on Sunday, Evening Standard, Spectator, Daily Express, Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Daily Mail, Metro, Critic, Sydney Morning Herald, Los Angeles Times, Stylist, Red and Good Housekeeping