The debut novel from the author of Under Your Skin, Remember Me This Way, and A Life With Me, a page-turning and comedic story about a woman on the brink.
Maggie Owen has given up her day job and resigned herself to a life of playground moms and soiled clothing—until the day she runs into Claire Masterson. Claire was the girl at school Maggie always wanted to be, and (surprise, surprise) it's as if nothing has changed. Claire still has everything—and Maggie's life, as the mother of two young boys, is utter chaos. But when it seems that Claire knows a little too much about Maggie's boyfriend, Jake, Maggie starts thinking the unthinkable, and the lengths to which she goes to uncover the truth and regain her confidence throw her life—and her relationship with Jake—for a loop.
Funny, smart and self-deprecating, this propulsive novel questions what our choices mean and whether we ever actually grow up.
There's no place like limbo to encourage a decisive stroll down one path or another. London suburbanite Maggie Owen is thoroughly disenchanted with domestic life. She gave up a journalism job granted, one she wasn't very good at to raise two sons, toddler Fergus and baby Dan, with hopes of personal fulfillment. Instead, she is bored by playground mums and dreary household cares. After a chance meeting with Claire Masterson, former classmate and glamorous career woman who seems happily single, Maggie's self-confidence takes a nosedive. She worries that, at 35, she's aging prematurely and poorly. As if confirming her fears, Maggie's longtime partner, advertising executive Jake, starts working late hours and stops initiating sex. Maggie feels especially vulnerable because they never married. Could he be having an affair? Maggie's best friend, Mel, doesn't think so. She's a single mother and doctor whose wisdom and patience temper Maggie's worst moments of self-involvement. At another get-together, Claire confides to Maggie that she returned home from New York City because the married love-of-her-life was in London. Clever to a fault, Maggie assumes she knows what's going on with whom and considers defying her do-gooder, do-right role and exacting revenge. The personal dramas are only as tragic as Maggie's sharp humor will allow them to be that is, not very which makes British journalist Durrant's debut a fine mix of adroit plotting and page-turning comedic suspense.