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A Parallel Life

272 pages5 hours


An “emotion-filled story of family dynamics and self-discovery . . . brimming with interesting characters” from the bestselling author of The Liverpool Trilogy (Booklist).

The members of the eccentric Compton-Milnes household act more like strangers than family. Despite having multiple sclerosis, the elder matriarch, Hermione, controls the household and insists on a Tuesday morning family breakfast. Her son, Gus, a reclusive but brilliant professor, and daughter-in-law Lisa, a foolishly promiscuous cosmetic surgery addict, remain married, but without much of a relationship. Their two grown children, Ben and Harriet, are also under the same roof, yet miles apart from the rest of the family. Ben’s OCD keeps him from facing the world, while his sister Harriet sacrifices her own desires in order to take care of him.
Lisa’s series of poorly chosen affairs finally catches up to her when she accidentally becomes friends with her latest lover’s wife. When he turns on her, the family is forced to pull together for the very first time if they are to survive with any degree of sanity.

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