* SHORTLISTED FOR THE PORTICO PRIZE 2022 *
A deeply affecting and unconventional love story, shot through with anger, black humour and grief.
One ordinary morning, Laurie’s husband Mark vanishes, leaving behind his phone and wallet. For weeks, she tells no one, carrying on her job as a cleaner at the local university, visiting her tricky, dementia-suffering father and holing up in her tower-block flat with a bottle to hand. When she finally reports Mark as missing, the police are suspicious. Why did she take so long? Wasn’t she worried?
It turns out there are many more mysteries in Laurie’s account of events, though not just because she glosses over the facts. At the time, she couldn’t explain much of her behaviour herself. But as she looks back on the ensuing wreckage – the friendships broken, the wild accusations she made, the one-night stand – she can see more clearly what lay behind it. And if it’s not too late, she can see how she might repair the damage and, most of all, forgive herself.