The Back Up Man

The Back Up Man



They made a pact to marry at thirty.

The problem? Euan's nowhere to be found.

Can Anya track down her back up man . . . ?

Shortly after her 29th birthday, Anya Mackie finds herself single, homeless and jobless. Well-meaning friends and family rally round, but she's soon stuck in a flatshare with Cold Claire and Weird Richard, and babysitting Glasgow's most unappealing twins.

But when Anya stumbles on the pact she made with high school crush, Euan Carrick, where they promised to marry if they were still single at thirty, she thinks it's a lifeline. Until Anya discovers that Euan hasn't been seen for a decade.

Grudgingly accepting the help (and car!) of handsome-but-emotionally-unavailable Jamie Kildare - another blast from Anya's past, with his own mysterious reasons for tracking down their old school pal, the pair set off across the country to find Anya's back-up-man.

In the age of social media and blue ticks, how could Euan have disappeared?
Will he even remember their pact?
And are some things just better left in the past . . . ?

The Back Up Man is a hilariously romantic tale of mishaps and matrimony, love and long shots, foibles and friendship, that may make you text that old school boyfriend of yours . . .

Praise for Phoebe Luckhurst:

'Entertaining, endearing, and truly unique. Found myself wincing and laughing with familiarity'
Emma Gannon
'The year's most original rom-com' Elle
'Hilarious' Evening Standard
'Nostalgic, pitch perfect' Cressida McLaughlin
'Funny and compelling from page one' Lucy Vine


  • Phoebe Luckhurst is one of the funniest new novelists out there. Perfect for anyone who has ever attempted to stalk an ex on Facebook (all of us, then)
    Evening Standard

About the author

Phoebe Luckhurst

Phoebe Luckhurst was born in London and brought up in Glasgow. She is the Features Editor and a columnist at the Evening Standard, where she also oversees their books coverage, and has written features and interviews for the Guardian, Sunday Times Style, ELLE, ES Magazine, Grazia, the Telegraph and Vogue. Phoebe has had the theme tune to The OC stuck in her head since 2003 and once almost spent her student loan on a micro-pig. She no longer shops online when drunk.
The Lock In was her debut novel, and her second, The Back Up Man, will be published in 2023.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more