The Necessary Marriage

Jane is sixteen when she first becomes aware of Leonard Campbell. He is a tall, gentle man with full lips and no ring on his left hand. He is her teacher. As Leonard begins to show her attention, giving her novels to read and discuss over dinner, their attraction grows and they fall in love. It is only once married, tied down with two children in 1980s suburbia, that Jane realises she might have settled too early, losing much of herself in the process.

Then Marion and Andrew, a couple whose passion frequently tips into violence, move in next door, forcing Jane to confront feelings she didn't know she could have. And when Marion abandons her family, Jane steps in to help with the couple's two boys, setting in motion a series of events, all of which expose the push and pull within every relationship. As desire and loyalty are blurred, it becomes clear that nobody can escape the devastating impact of a family falling apart.

The Necessary Marriage explores the tension between intimacy and desire for freedom. It is an intense, intimate portrait of how couples come together and grow apart, and the passions that drive us to do crazy things.

Reviews

Elegant, subtle and tender, with a sharp sting in the tale (SUNDAY MIRROR)

This is a novel which closely examines hidden lives and secret motives . . . I would call it Surrey Gothic: a superbly written suburban saga with an agreeable sense of creeping dread (Wendy Holden DAILY MAIL)

A captivating novel which gets to the core of lust, love and commitment. Lodato's writing is delicate, yet direct . . . an excellent examination of rash decisions and their consequences (IRISH TIMES)

An intimate portrait of two couples that lays bare the truth of their marriages and the danger of relationships that stretch across neighbouring walls. Beautifully written, poignant and thrilling (Chloë Mayer, author of THE BOY MADE OF SNOW)

I adored this beautifully told, immersive portrait of two marriages and the flaws and desires within . . . so gripping and original (Clare Empson, author of HIM)

Gripping and atmospheric, this book will knock you sideways (Fiona Mitchell, author of THE MAID’S ROOM)

Tragic and affecting, this novel absorbed me from the first page - and what an ending, wow! (Melanie Golding, author of LITTLE DARLINGS)

I adored this tale of two very different marriages. Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and so tense, I was gripped from page one (Francesca Jakobi, author of BITTER)

I hugely enjoyed this novel - a subtle and unexpected take on marriage and the paths we weave through life. A lovely evocation of time and place and a perfectly judged ending. (Joanne Sefton, author of IF THEY KNEW)

Jane is 16 when she falls in love with her teacher, Leonard, but when they wed and start a family, she finds herself stifled in 1980s suburbia (GOOD HOUSEKEEPING)

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