Shortlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction: Ordinary People by Diana Evans

About the book

South London, 2008. Two couples find themselves at a moment of reckoning, on the brink of acceptance or revolution. Melissa has a new baby and doesn’t want to let it change her, but in the crooked walls of a narrow Victorian terrace, she begins to disappear. Michael, growing daily more accustomed to his commute, still loves Melissa but can’t quite get close enough to her to stay faithful.

Meanwhile, out in the suburbs, Stephanie is happy with Damian and their three children, but the death of Damian’s father has thrown him into crisis - or is it something, or someone, else? Are they all just in the wrong place? Are any of them prepared to take the leap?

Set against the backdrop of Barack Obama’s historic election victory, Ordinary People is an intimate, immersive study of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, friendship and aging, and the fragile architecture of love. With its distinctive prose and irresistible soundtrack, it is the story of our lives and those moments that threaten to unravel us.

This book deals with themes including: love, sex, and grief. Appropriate for 16+ readers.

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Reviews about the book

"Evans excels, bringing to vivid life a capacious social world while simultaneously commenting on it." New York Times

"I am shouting from the rooftops to anyone who will listen about this book. It's so so good - realistic and funny and so truthful it almost winded me." Dolly Alderton

"Diana Evans is a lyrical and glorious writer; a precise poet of the human heart." Naomi Alderman

"Evans writes with great humour and insight… a deftly observed, elegiac portrayal of modern marriage, and the private – often painful – quest for identity and fulfilment in all its various guises." The Observer

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