The Faithful Couple

The new novel from the author of Snowdrops

In the end what will matter is love in many forms, and shame. A magnificent book, both readable and literary at the same time.

The Cape Times (South Africa), Jennifer Crocker

California, 1993: Neil Collins and Adam Tayler, two young British men on the cusp of adulthood, meet at a hostel in San Diego. They strike up a friendship that, while platonic, feels as intoxicating as a romance; they travel up the coast together, harmlessly competitive, innocently collusive, wrapped up in each other. On a camping trip to Yosemite they lead each other to behave in ways that, years later, they will desperately regret.

The tale of a relationship built on shared guilt and a secret betrayal, The Faithful Couple follows Neil and Adam across two decades, through girlfriends and wives, success and failure, children and bereavements, as power and remorse ebb between them.

Their story offers an oblique portrait of London in the boom-to-bust era of the nineties and noughties, with its instant fortunes and thwarted idealism, asking fierce, unsettling questions about the claims and knowability of the past. California binds them together, until – when the full truth of what happened emerges, bringing recriminations and revenge – it threatens to drive them apart.

"Turn a betrayal inside out and you found its opposite, a secret and a bond. Perhaps that was what friendship came down to: trusting each other with the very worst things - because you had to, didn't you? You had to trust and tell someone - the shaming weaknesses, the lowest abasements, the flaws and offences that would always be there between you, even if you never spoke of them. A lifelong, affectionate mutual blackmail."

Published in March 2015 by Little, Brown

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