An enormously charming, often scabrously funny first novel by English columnist Knight, who takes a vivacious approach to a once-happily-married woman beset with weighty issues—and two lively wee boys.
Eight years into her marriage, Clara has a sinking feeling that something isn't right. It isn't her kids; she loves them to pieces, even though their needs make mincemeat of her freelance writing schedule. It isn't her friends, although one has just gotten pregnant from a one-night stand and another's husband has started an affair with one of his office help. It isn't her imperious, magnificently packaged mother, about to be wed for the fourth time. It isn't even her disastrous interview with a rising star in the dance world, an Irishman she mortally offended by calling him a “poof.” No, it has everything to do with the dashing and impeccable, aloof and workaholic Robert: her husband. While they’re kind and loving toward each other, Clara doesn't get the feeling that they're in love anymore—and it doesn't help that she's putting on pounds worrying about it. She wants romance back in her life, and as a way of getting it decides to attend a dinner she’s been invited to by the Irish dancer, who inexplicably seems to have forgiven her and wants her there to celebrate his triumph on the London stage. She makes a stunning entrance, wowing Robert and the other men in the room, and while she awakens the next morning with the mother of all hangovers, hope is in the air. She and Robert go to Paris alone for a weekend, but Clara's vision of how it will go proves faulty at best, even though, in the end, she gets what she wished for.
The irrepressible Clara is also irresistible: as she deconstructs and reconstructs herself endlessly, there are insights aplenty about making do, holding on, and letting go.