Britisher Buchan’s US debut, the story of a middle-aged wife who, when her life and marriage fall apart, manages to fight back, move on, even hope for something better.
Rose Lloyd, book editor for a London paper, is happily married to Nathan, an executive on the paper, and the mother of two adult children, Sam and Poppy. Her life is probably as good as it gets, and though Rose isn’t complacent, she is certainly unprepared for the betrayals about to implode her life. Nathan announces he’s leaving and moving in with her trusted assistant, the younger and sexy Minty. Reeling, she learns next that she’s to be replaced as editor by Minty because her boss wants someone younger, with new ideas, running the book section. Her woes mount as she hears that her mother needs surgery and Nathan is no longer paying her medical insurance. Her much loved cat dies, daughter Poppy e-mails from Thailand that’s she’s married hippie boyfriend Richard, and Nathan also wants their house for him and Minty. A bitter blow, because Rose has loved fixing it up and making a beautiful garden. At first she weeps, wonders where she went wrong, can’t eat, drinks too much. But then she begins to fight back. She visits a college friend in Paris who makes her buy some sexy clothes, is given some interesting jobs, is befriended by a Cabinet Minister who’s been hurt by a scandal caused by his mentally ill wife, and meets up again with her first love, American Rhodes scholar Hal Thorne, now a famous travel writer. As she recalls how she met and parted from Hal, she learns that Nathan is finding life with Minty more complicated than he’d expected and that he misses his family. With her children making interesting changes in their lives, Rose is ready for a few herself.
A wry and elegant tale about a woman of a certain age fighting back and winning unexpected victories.