Fans of Jonathan Coe will love this extraordinary panoramic novel, which turns upon the whirligig of life that is Costford, a north western town, in 1970.
Costford, 1970. Trevor Morgan is a labour councillor with magical teeth and the political flair to get to the top. But his marriage is in crisis, and he seeks help from an unexpected quarter: doughty middle-aged May Rollins, a Tory councillor living with the demented mother she has always hated.
Strange things are happening to May: she sees a lollipop lady at eight o'clock on an August evening; her TV converts to colour of its own accord. She and Trevor are at odds over a controversial plan to build council flats at Prospect Hill, but their relationship nevertheless abruptly - and ambiguously - intensifies.
Then we have Art Whiteside, the romantic real estate agent, Wendy Hammond, who gave up teaching to become a waitress then gave up that to baby-sit her grandmother, and the silent and dangerous Fray Bentley, Town Hall bouncer and lover of Party Fours.
A novel about the relationship between public and private life, about mothers, wives, lovers, houses and households.