Author(s): Diana Evans
One of The Millions' "Most Anticipated" Books of 2018
Evoking the sharp insight of Little Fires Everywhere and the sweep of NW, an incisive portrait of the bliss and torment of domestic love.
Hailed as "one of the most thrilling writers at work today" (Huffington Post), Diana Evans reaches new heights with her searing depiction of two couples struggling through a year of marital crisis.
In a crooked house in South London, Melissa feels increasingly that she's defined solely by motherhood, while Michael mourns the former thrill of their romance. In the suburbs, Stephanie's aspirations for bliss on the commuter belt, coupled with her white middle-class upbringing, compound Damian's itch for a bigger life catalyzed by the death of his activist father.
Longtime friends from the years when passion seemed permanent, the couples have stayed in touch, gathering for births and anniversaries, bonding over discussions of politics, race, and art. But as bonds fray, the lines once clearly marked by wedding bands aren't so simply defined.
Ordinary People is a moving examination of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, and the fragile architecture of love.
Shortlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction
'I am shouting from the rooftops to anyone who will listen about this book. It’s so so good – realistic and funny and so truthful it almost winded me' --Dolly Alderton
'Diana Evans is a lyrical and glorious writer; a precise poet of the human heart' - Naomi Alderman, author of The Power
'Thoughtful and intelligently observed... Evans's delicate prose weaves issues of racial identity and politics into the narrative so that they never feel heavy-handed...a deftly observed, elegiac portrayal of modern marriage, and the private – often painful – quest for identity and fulfilment in all its various guises' – Observer
'Achieves a moody, velvety atmosphere, as though events were unfolding under amber-tinted bulbs...offers a precise sketch of the British black middle class, with a daring fifth-act twist' - Katy Waldman, New Yorker
'Evans gives us romance going cold with just as pitiless a precision as Flaubert in Madame Bovary... Evans's prose is magnificent: it's as if she measured each sentence, trimmed the excess weight, then fitted it into place' – Daily Telegraph