'Somehow it seemed to him the only thing that would really solve the problem would be to return to the sea and find the old ring with their names and the wedding date engraved inside, in 22-carat gold, and put it on again and then the world would magically return to what it had been before.
'Somehow it seemed to him the only thing that would really solve the problem would be to return to the sea and find the old ring with their names and the wedding date engraved inside, in 22-carat gold, and put it on again and then the world would magically return to what it had been before. Many years before.
This did not happen.'
Thomas and Mary have been married for thirty years. They have two children, a dog, a house in the suburbs. But after years of drifting apart, things - finally - come to a head.
In this love story in reverse, Tim Parks recounts what happens when youthful devotion has long given way to dog walking, separate bed times, and tensions over who left the fridge door open.
Lurching from comedy to tragedy, via dependence, cold re-examination, tenderness and betrayal, Thomas and Mary is a fiercely intimate chronicle of a marriage - capturing the offshoots of pain sent through an entire family, when the couple at its heart decide it's all over.
Born in Manchester, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. He lives in Milan.
He is the acclaimed author of novels, non-fiction and essays, including Europa, In Extremis, A Season with Verona, Teach Us to Sit Still and Italian Ways. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Betty Trask Prize, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the John Florio Prize and the Italo Calvino Prize.
Restless, lightly mordant tale of lust and love lost. -- Jeffrey Burke Mail on Sunday As effective an antidote to Valentine's Day as you could find. -- Stephanie Cross Daily Mail A blackly comic study of a 30-year-old marriage. -- Arminta Wallace Irish Times Mordantly amusing, deeply sad novel... Plainly written, vivid portrait of a marriage... A cautionary tale for couples heedless of the care and kindness a good relationship requires, and a horror story for those who discover they are simply but irreparably mismatched. -- Rosemary Goring The Herald In this darkly funny work, Parks offers a story that doesn't shy away from the complexity of relationships, and from the ineffability, indeed, impossibility, of the unmade decision. -- Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi Independent
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