Publishing year: 2014
At the beginning of this book it is winter, and three friends Rose, Eve and Myles return from a day in the races.
Then when Rose goes up to her flat, Eve and Myles are left alone, and Eve agrees to meet for a drink. We know that Eve is married because of a reference to someone called Andrew. There is a certain atmosphere between Eve and Myles, and when he returns from the kitchen with their hot drinks, he places the mugs on his desk, and the next thing they know they are kissing passionately and then Eve lets him lead him to the bedroom where they make love. In Eve’s thoughts we learn that all through the summer they have pretended to be good friends, and they are have been secret texts, emails, encounters under that pretence, but now they can’t pretend any longer.
The next chapter takes place the summer before when Eve and Myles meet for the first time. Eve and Rose are friends, and Eve often spends time with her in her house. Rose’s home is an old Edwardian semi-detached house, which she had converted in two separate flats. When Rose is leaving, she sees a man at the front door, and he introduces himself as the new tenant. We learn that Myles is a popular writer of detective stories and has rented the flat in Rose’s property to have some peace and quiet to write away from his wife Celeste and their two children.
As they meet, there is a spark between them, and when they are about to part ways and reach for the knob of the door, they touch momentarily and that brief contact feels as if they are in fire. I guess this is the beginning of what will end up with both of them becoming lovers.
From Eve’s perspective we learn she is married to Andrew and has a teenage daughter, Jodie, who is going though her A-levels. Eve often feels alone as her daughter regularly hangs out with her friends and is not at home a lot, and her husband, who is a painter, also has other occupations. He has a music band and from time to time he has gigs, and he never asks his wife to come with him and see the gig.
As for Myles, he isn’t happy in his marriage either. He loves his sons, but the relationship with his wife is not good as he feels she is too fierce and controls the house and everything in it with too much efficiency. This is one of the reasons he decided to find a place of his own to write in it.
I like the style of the novel, which is quite poetic and atmospheric, and I also love how we get to know these characters gradually. We know where the action will lead, but it is interesting to see what these characters’ motivations are and how they act and react.