From the moment Marion first lays eyes on Tom - her best friend's big brother, broad, blond, blue-eyed - she is smitten. And, when he comes home from National Service to be a policeman, Marion, a newly qualified teacher, is determined to win him. Unable to acknowledge the signs that something is amiss, she plunges into marriage, sure that her love is enough for both of them...But Tom has another life, another equally overpowering claim on his affections. Patrick, a curator at the Brighton Museum, is also besotted with his policeman, and opens Tom's eyes to a world previously unknown to him. But in an age when those of 'minority status' were condemned by society and the law, it is safer for this policeman to marry his teacher. The two lovers must share him, until one of them breaks and three lives are destroyed. Unfolding through the dual narratives of Marion and Patrick, both writing about the man at the centre of their lives, this beautifully-told, painful, tragic story is revealed. It is a tale of wasted years, misguided love and thwarted hope, of how at a time when the country was on the verge of change, so much was still impossible. Bethan Roberts has produced an intense and exquisitely raw yet tender novel, which proves her to be one of our most exciting young writers.
Bethan Roberts was born in Oxford and grew up in nearby Abingdon. Her first novel The Pools was published in 2007 and won a Jerwood/Arvon Young Writers' Award. Her second novel The Good Plain Cook, published in 2008, was serialized on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and was chosen as one of Time Out's books of the year. She also writes short stories (in 2006 she was awarded the Olive Cook short story prize by the Society of Authors) and has had a play broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Bethan has worked as a television documentary researcher, writer and assistant producer, and has taught Creative Writing at Chichester University and Goldsmiths College, London. She lives in Brighton with her family. Visit her website at www.bethanrobertswriter.com