by Madeleine St John
The Text Publishing Company. Australian, Romance. Paperback rrp $29.95
Alex is in a marriage where he and his wife Claire are only staying together for the sake of the children. Andrew, Alex’s friend, has been dumped by his wife and has come back to England leaving his young daughter with his ex-wife in America.
At a chance party, Alex reconnects with Barbara, but also introduces her to Andrew. Andrew too, is besotted with her.
Barbara is confused and doesn’t know which choice to make. Surely if Alex loves her, he will leave his wife? And Andrew, sweet and kind, she could be happy with him.
St John’s short chapter style makes this an easy book to enjoy. You are teased and tugged to read “just one more chapter” – then suddenly you realise you have reached the end. Brilliant.
Madeleine St John’s Essence of The Thing was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1997. She died in 2006.