The married couples in this book have two things in common: a skill in the duplicity that flourishes even in happy marriages, and an invitation to the Farthingoes' ball. In the months preceding the party, we learn something of their double lives: the faces that each one exposes to their spouses and to the world give little hint of their complex and secret tribulations. By the time they arrive at the ball, each clutching his or her different hopes and fears, we have become familiar with their unsmooth paths, and shared many a humorous escapade or private tragedy with Rachel and Thomas, Mary and Bill, Ursula and Martin, Frances and Toby, as well as the alluring R. Cotterman and the only questing bachelor, Ralph. Sophisticated, sympathetic, witty and razor-sharp in its observations of the sub-text of married life, this is a wonderfully accomplished and enjoyable novel which develops totally out of the characters it creates.The familiar sight of her a indignant shoulders hunched up, spiky fingers riffling through peanuts as if they were worry ... The seat of the ridiculously small chair cut into his thighs, making them splay and bulge. ... An overweight girl in jeans and a T-shirt dumped scampi in the basket in front of Gillian, accompanied by a knife and fork wrapped in a paper napkin. ... beaky little nose, the bleached bone shining through transparent skin: claw-like fingers and toes, cocky strut of a walk.
|Title||:||Invitation to the Married Life|
|Publisher||:||A&C Black - 2011-10-28|