Matt Webster, a 31-year-old London theatre critic, comes home one January evening to find his wife Kath has disappeared. Only after anxiously phoning friends and acquaintances does he find a note saying she is leaving him. He can't believe that she would abandon him and their four-year-old son, Josh.
He finds a babysitter when he returns to work after leave of absence, and his widowed father from Yorkshire comes to help. Most of the family and friends around him could hardly be nicer, apart from his mother-in-law, who tells him tactlessly that he is not coping and she wants to take Josh to live with her and his grandfather.
The ever-solicitous Louise, Kath's best friend, is equally thunderstruck at what has happened and her own marriage has hit a difficult patch. Beth, a potentially man-eating theatrical agent from Washington DC who came to London to get away from her ex, has no children or other ties to hold her back. Both women make it clear that they'd like to get closer to him, and are irritated that he seems unable to move on. He spends a weekend in Italy with Beth, but their affair is shattered by a call from Louise to say Matt's father-in-law has died, and he needs to return home for what promises to be a rather tense gathering of family and friends at the funeral.
The review of this Book prepared by John Van der Kiste