Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, this brilliant novel from Madeleine St John, author of The Women in Black, is a comic and tender look at the vicissitudes of love and relationships.
Nicola should never have stepped out to buy that pack of cigarettes, because the man she discovers in her living room when she returns is not the adorable, straightforward, devoted Jonathan with whom she has been sharing her life.
That Jonathan would never have unilaterally decided that she should, as he abruptly put it, 'move out'. A shocked Nicola packs her bags and sets out bravely on the bumpy course that will take her from the end of an affair to the essence of the thing.
This edition of The Essence of the Thing comes with an introduction by Helen Trinca, Madeleine St John's biographer.
Madeleine St John was born in Sydney. She graduated from Sydney University in 1963 and lived in London for most of the succeeding years, until her death in 2006. The Women in Black is her first novel. She also wrote A Pure Clear Light, 1996, The Essence of the Thing, 1997, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and Stairway to Paradise, 1999.
'Brisk, sophisticated and artful.' New York Times Book Review
'St John's intelligence transforms a simple story into a much larger commentary on love and loss.' Mademoiselle
'Using spare prose, sparkling dialogue and painfully true observations on family life, St John creates a winning combination of humour and pathos.' Publishers Weekly