Tom, a window salesman and his wife Siri, a radio presenter, have been married for a year and are in the process of trying for a baby. Disillusioned with their romantic life starting to feel like a chore, Tom is devastated when he is humiliated by his evil boss and told his services are now surplus to requirements. Unable to tell Siri and jeopardise her 5 year plan, he takes to going out every day at the same time and pretending to go to work. He happens upon an out of town cafe where the misfit clientele start to feel like the family he never really had.
When the much-longed for baby fails to appear as expected, Tom and Siri have to undergo a series of invasive medical tests to see if there is a more serious problem underlying their lack of conception. Tom, already on a downward spiral finds it increasingly hard to deal with what’s happening, with potentially devastating results. Siri’s brother Adam is also starting to act really strangely; making inappropriate remarks, stumbling and becoming accident prone – and Tom, and his best friend Harry are unsure as to what the problem is.
It’s hard to go into much more detail without giving away any of the plot lines, however I read this book before it was released as part of the Pigeonhole book group and I was really surprised to find that it was the author Jo Johnson’s first book. It’s an absolute triumph. The characters are so well written, irritating at times, but ultimately good – and you can’t help but root for them. Importantly though, there are some very serious themes running through the book, that lessen the brevity and really focus on the human cost of secrets and lies that are going on beneath the surface, however well intentioned.
Thanks to the Pigeonhole for another great read – this is my honest and unbiased review.