'It is a clever, well-written book, and I often found myself underlining whole paragraphs as I read. … wonderfully insightful. … I've never read accounts of any of these texts that manage to be at once so searching and so wondrously concise, and Lupton made me want to go back to them all' Rachel Cooke, Observer
'Incandescent' Lara Feigel, Guardian
'A subversive, brilliant and beautifully written book about love, play and power in fiction and in the well-read life' – Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater
'A delicious combination of critical thought and passionate personal experience.' – Tanya Shadrick, author of The Cure for Sleep
Romantic love was born alongside the novel, and books have been shaping how we experience and think about our most intimate stories ever since. But what do novels give us when our own lives diverge from the usual narrative paths?
Christina is a professor used to examining stories with a critical eye; until one day in middle age she finds herself falling in love and leaving her marriage for a romance with another woman. This involves a familiar enough tale, but when her new partner suffers a stroke, Tina begins to reflect on the sorts of love that novels rarely capture.
A heady mix of memoir, criticism and storytelling that draws on novels ranging from Pride and Prejudice to Price of Salt, Anna Karenina to Conversations with Friends, to illuminate the ways love and novels work, and show how some types of love, which don't race to a narrative end-point, might be the most important of all.