For eight-year-old Rufus life has become complicated. His parents, Josie and Tom, have divorced and are setting off on separate paths. But now, other people have had to become involved, like his mother's new husband Matthew and his father's new friend Elizabeth. What's even worse is that there are other children too, Matthew's three teenagers, who have been conditioned by their mother Nadine to hate his mother Josie.
Matthew's children come to their father for weekends and make it clear how much they loathe Josie. Rufus secretly prefers to be with his father, in his peaceful flat in Bath, where he realises that he doesn't actually hate the idea of a stepmother, if she is peaceful and sane like Elizabeth. But where other people's children are concerned, neat solutions seldom occur ...
"This compelling, and at times heart-rending, novel is Trollope at her very best"
"A gripping read - as shrewdly observant of psychological and domestic detail as anything she has written"
"Wonderfully and compulsively readable... She can be as subtle as Austen, as sharp as Bronte. Trollope's brilliant"
"Trollope has shown herself capable of such emotional depth, that although you turn the pages quickly, it is with trembling fingers"