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.
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About the Author
Diana Evans is a lyrical and glorious writer; a precise poet of the human heart.--Naomi Alderman, author of The Power
That rarest thing: a literary novel about real, recognizable human beings--a poignant portrait of middle life in London's middle class. Evans has given us four thirtysomething characters so perfectly drawn that they seem to come from a brilliant Netflix dramedy, but has rendered them with a classical prose so confident that it seems to come from a 19th century novel. Beach reading for the thinking beachgoer: as intelligent and insightful as it is hilariously entertaining.--Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go
A portrait of a relationship on the brink set in Great Recession-era London.... Balancing dry humor, wit, and empathy, Evans expertly delineates her main characters' frustrations.... Evans frankly and unflinchingly depicts a romance overwhelmed by the ennui of everyday life.--Kirkus Reviews
Deep and addictive.... Evans zooms out to build her characters' culturally rich backstories as they struggle to recognize their older selves and the relationships that have aged along with them. A probing, entertaining, and self-affirming novel of men and women getting relatably lost in the crises and hauntings of early midlife.--Annie Bostrom, Booklist [Starred Review]
Epic... Evans' exuberant prose, which bursts at the seams with description, is the real star of this book.--Refinery29, "The Books of September 2018 We Can't Wait to Read"
Evans' novel explores the fault lines that can run through a marriage, and unpacks the intersection of race, gender, and politics with something as profoundly intimate as marriage.--Huffington Post, "Fall 2018 Books We Can't Wait to Read"
Evans, the author of two previous books, has earned comparisons to Dickens with her panoramas of a jumbled, multitudinous London, but Tolstoy remains her spirit guide in how he intertwined the public and the private, the momentous and the mundane.... Exceptionally sensitive writing.--Katy Waldman, The New Yorker
Striking.... With penetrating emotional and psychological observations, Evans creates a realistic portrayal of the couples as they struggle to redefine commitment. Readers looking for careful studies of relationship dynamics will find much to contemplate.
Ordinary People sings with every word. The writing is pitch perfect, the underlying politics of race and gender is never heavy handed, and the characterization of south London is enviable. I know these streets and they beat to the music that runs through this book... a lyrical and beautiful story. It's a triumph.--Christie Watson, author of Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away