A New Yorker Best Book of the Year
Winner – South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature
A Washington Post “Lily Lit” Book Club Selection
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, and the Rathbones Folio Prize
Evoking the sharp insight of Little Fires Everywhere and the sweep of NW, an incisive portrait of the bliss and torment of domestic love.
Hailed as “one of the most thrilling writers at work today” (Huffington Post), Diana Evans reaches new heights with her searing depiction of two couples struggling through a year of marital crisis. In a crooked house in South London, Melissa feels increasingly that she’s defined solely by motherhood, while Michael mourns the former thrill of their romance. In the suburbs, Stephanie’s aspirations for bliss on the commuter belt, coupled with her white middle-class upbringing, compound Damian’s itch for a bigger life catalyzed by the death of his activist father. Longtime friends from the years when passion seemed permanent, the couples have stayed in touch, gathering for births and anniversaries, bonding over discussions of politics, race, and art. But as bonds fray, the lines once clearly marked by wedding bands aren’t so simply defined. Ordinary People is a moving examination of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, and the fragile architecture of love.
‘Diana is so amazing when it comes to writing about humans and relationships… about how we change, grow, and fall away from each other… I don’t know anyone who’s as skilled as her’ Candice Carty-Williams, Oprah Magazine
‘Diana Evans’s fiction is emotionally intelligent, dark, funny, moving. The sheer energy in her novels is enthralling’ Jackie Kay
‘I am shouting from the rooftops to anyone who will listen about this book. It’s so so good – realistic and funny and so truthful it almost winded me’ Dolly Alderton
‘I just finished Ordinary People by Diana Evans and it is utterly exquisite. What a writer she is – the depth of her insight, the grace of her sentences. WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME NOT READING HER?’ Elizabeth Day