Violet is living an apparently perfect life. She is married to affluent, workaholic, David, is a stay-at-home mum to their toddler daughter, Dot, has a live-in nanny and lives in a big house in a prestigious location. Previously a successful career woman, she in fact feels bored, frustrated, devalued …. and fat! Feeling in need of stimulation and adventure, she finds herself drawn to Teddy, a dirty, impoverished, ex-drug addict and alcoholic, now a small-time bass player. David’s highly-strung, debt-ridden sister, Sally, now in her thirties, and, feeling desperate to settle down, is on the prowl for a rich, successful husband and a life-style to match Violet’s, and has set her laser-like sights on Jeremy, a sports-caster savant.
With a wonderfully colourful cast of characters, this is a deliciously acerbic, yet essentially compassionate, exploration of a modern-day search for more – for fulfilment, for happiness. All the characters seemed flawed: often thoughtless in their interactions, and dangerously impulsive in their decision-making. Initially there seemed to be little to like about any of them and yet I became increasingly drawn to them, wanting them to, finally, “get it right”! This, I am sure, is a testament to the quality of the author’s deceptively simple writing style, which captures emotional complexity, dialogue and a sense of place in a convincing and evocative way. Having loved her second novel, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, I had wondered whether I would enjoy this debut novel as much – I’m happy to report that I most certainly did!!