When eighteen-year-old Ian Bedloe pricks the bubble of his family's optimistic self-deception, his brother Danny drives into a wall, his sister-in-law falls apart, and his parents age before his eyes. Consumed by guilt Ian finds the hope of forgiveness at the Church of the Second Chance, and leaves college to cope with the three children he has inherited and his own embarrassing religion.
Twenty years on, Ian's prospects of a second chance are receding fast when, out of the heart of the domesticity that has engulfed him, strides a new figure who will bring him new life.
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From novels about parenting to making love last, here are some great books to read in your forties.
Anne Tyler is the favourite writer of everyone from Liane Moriarty to Hanya Yanagihara, and was nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as ‘the greatest novelist writing in English’. Here’s our guide to getting started.