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.
‘Just read it. It’s unforgettable’
India Knight, The Sunday Times
‘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’
Eva Wiseman, Observer
‘The most wonderful, heartbreakingly gorgeous novel of the year’
Elizabeth Day, author of How to Fail
‘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
‘A masterclass on family, damage and the bonds of love’
Jessie Burton, author of The Confession
‘Patrick Melrose meets Fleabag. Brilliant’
Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures
‘It is impossible to read this novel and not be moved. It is also impossible not to laugh out loud… Extraordinary’
‘A raucously funny, beautifully written, emotion-bashing book’
‘Probably the best book you’ll read this year’
Mail on Sunday