Quelque chose ne tourne pas rond chez Martha, et depuis longtemps. Lorsqu'elle avait dix-sept ans, une petite bombe a explosé dans son cerveau et elle n'a plus jamais été la même. Et malgré toutes les consultations, thérapies sans fin et traitements hasardeux, elle ne sait toujours pas ce qui ne va pas... Pourquoi passe-t-elle des journées entières au fond de son lit ? Et pourquoi continue-t-elle à se mettre à dos des inconnus, et des proches, avec ses remarques cruelles et désinvoltes ?
Aujourd'hui, son mari l'a quittée et elle n'a plus nulle part où aller, si ce n'est dans la maison de son enfance, une maison bohème (délabrée) dans un quartier romantique (délabré) de Londres. Et rien d'autre à faire que retrouver sa mère, une sculptrice au talent confidentiel - et très alcoolique - et son père, un poète célèbre - bien que jamais publié... Mais comment survivre là-bas sans sa soeur dévouée, grande gueule, qui rendait tout ce chaos supportable pendant leur enfance, et qui est maintenant trop occupée ou trop fatiguée pour prendre soin d'elle ?
Peut-être qu'en repartant de zéro, Martha pourra écrire un meilleur dénouement pour son histoire ratée - ou découvrir que cette histoire n'est pas encore tout à fait terminée.
THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER ''Both fantastically dark and almost unbearably funny... Just read it. It''s unforgettable'' India Knight, The Sunday Times ''It is impossible to read this novel and not be moved. It is also impossible not to laugh out loud... Mason pulls off something extraordinary in this huge-hearted novel'' Clare Clark, Guardian ''Summer''s must-read novel'' Stylist ''Utterly compelling and darkly funny: the book you have to read this summer'' Evening Standard ''A raucously funny, beautifully written, emotion-bashing book'' The Times ''I was making a list of all the people I wanted to send it to, until I realised that I wanted to send it to everyone I know'' Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House ''A masterclass on family, damage and the bonds of love'' Jessie Burton, author of The Confession ''Patrick Melrose meets Fleabag . Brilliant'' Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick. So why is everything broken? Why is Martha - on the edge of 40 - friendless, practically jobless and so often sad? And why did Patrick decide to leave? Maybe she is just too sensitive, someone who finds it harder to be alive than most people. Or maybe - as she has long believed - there is something wrong with her. Something that broke when a little bomb went off in her brain, at 17, and left her changed in a way that no doctor or therapist has ever been able to explain. Forced to return to her childhood home to live with her dysfunctional, bohemian parents (but without the help of her devoted, foul-mouthed sister Ingrid), Martha has one last chance to find out whether a life is ever too broken to fix - or whether, maybe, by starting over, she will get to write a better ending for herself.
''WHILE I WAS READING IT, I WAS MAKING A LIST OF ALL THE PEOPLE I WANTED TO SEND IT TO, UNTIL I REALISED THAT I WANTED TO SEND IT TO EVERYONE I KNOW'' Ann Patchett ''BRUTAL, TENDER, FUNNY... I SAW MYSELF HERE. I SAW THE PEOPLE I LOVE. I AM CHANGED BY THIS BOOK'' Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes Martha Friel just turned forty. Once, she worked at Vogue and planned to write a novel. Now, she creates internet content. She used to live in a pied-a-terre in Paris. Now she lives in a gated community in Oxford, the only person she knows without a PhD, a baby or both, in a house she hates but cannot bear to leave. But she must leave, now that her husband Patrick-the kind who cooks, throws her birthday parties, who loves her and has only ever wanted her to be happy-has just moved out. Because there''s something wrong with Martha, and has been for a long time. When she was seventeen, a little bomb went off in her brain and she was never the same. But countless doctors, endless therapy, every kind of drug later, she still doesn''t know what''s wrong, why she spends days unable to get out of bed or alienates both strangers and her loved ones with casually cruel remarks. And she has nowhere to go except her childhood home: a bohemian (dilapidated) townhouse in a romantic (rundown) part of London-to live with her mother, a minorly important sculptor (and major drinker) and her father, a famous poet (though unpublished) and try to survive without the devoted, potty-mouthed sister who made all the chaos bearable back then, and is now too busy or too fed up to deal with her. But maybe, by starting over, Martha will get to write a better ending for herself-and she''ll find out that she''s not quite finished after all.