Caroline is married to Henry.
Henry is having an affair with Martha.
Caroline and Henry’s neighbours are Lesley and Craig.
Caroline is having an affair with Craig.
Janice is Caroline’s sister.
Alec is Janice’s ex-husband. Janice still loves him, it seems.
Alec springs Janice and Craig in bed together (nothing happened).
Lesley has had enough of Craig.
Lesley announces she’s sleeping with Alec.
And then things descend from there.
I’ve kind of told you some of what happens but by all means, go ahead and read Toni Jordan’s latest, Our Tiny, Useless Hearts, for her droll one-liners that poke-fun at the middle-class, middle-aged set. Also worth your time are Janice’s micro-biology-related-insights about life and love that provide a neat and rational balance to the others antics –
“Love colonises your whole body. The symptoms of love are caused by your autonomic nervous system doing its finest work – responding to the infection. Love is not something you think about, that you can reason yourself into or out of. Do you breathe with your conscious mind? Do you decide to send enzymes from your liver or knowingly control the heart valves as they open and close? Then why would anyone assume that reason can manage something as important as love?”
“The human gut does lots of thinking and why shouldn’t it? Billions of organised bacteria live there, lots of them going about their day making neurotransmitters that change the way we think and feel. A billion heads are better than one.”
The book is a comedy of errors and with all of the hiding half-dressed behind doors, sneaking in and out of rooms and scuttling down balconies, the action feels written for the stage rather than the page. While I found it obviously implausible (I guess all good farces are) and lacking the charm the Jordan’s Addition, I’m sure that chick-lit lovers and fans of authors such as Liane Moriarghty will enjoy this book (note that Jordan does suburban-snark far better than Moriarty).
2.5/5 Not for me but don’t let my opinion put you off.
Lesley, referring to Alec –
“Once, I sucked him off as we were going through the McDonald’s drive thru. And then I had a Quarter Pounder and large chips.”
“Oh Lesley,” says Craig, “Think of all the trans-fats.”