Ordinary People

Ordinary People

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019


Random House presents the audiobook edition of Ordinary People by Diana Evans, read by Jennifer Saayeng.

'Diana Evans is a lyrical and glorious writer; a precise poet of the human heart' Naomi Alderman

‘You can take a leap, do something off the wall, something reckless. It’s your last chance, and most people miss it.’

South London, 2008. Two couples find themselves at a moment of reckoning, on the brink of acceptance or revolution. Melissa has a new baby and doesn’t want to let it change her but, in the crooked walls of a narrow Victorian terrace, she begins to disappear. Michael, growing daily more accustomed to his commute, still loves Melissa but can’t quite get close enough to her to stay faithful. Meanwhile out in the suburbs, Stephanie is happy with Damian and their three children, but the death of Damian’s father has thrown him into crisis – or is it something, or someone, else? Are they all just in the wrong place? Are any of them prepared to take the leap?

Set against the backdrop of Barack Obama’s historic election victory, Ordinary People is an intimate, immersive study of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, friendship and aging, and the fragile architecture of love. With its distinctive prose and irresistible soundtrack, it is the story of our lives, and those moments that threaten to unravel us.


  • Diana Evans is a lyrical and glorious writer; a precise poet of the human heart
    Naomi Alderman, author of The Power

About the author

Diana Evans

Diana Evans is the author of four novels, including 26a, The Wonder and Ordinary People. She has received award nominations for the Whitbread First Novel, the Guardian First Book, the Commonwealth Best First Book and the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction, and was the inaugural winner of the Orange Award for New Writers. Ordinary People won the 2019 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, for which A House for Alice was also a finalist. Her journalism appears in Time magazine, the Guardian, Vogue and the Financial Times and she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She lives in London.

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