A contemporary psychological thriller in the style of Ruth Rendell, from one of today's most versatile and compelling storytellers.It was easy for Elizabeth. She married the man she loved, bore him two children and made a home for him which was the envy of their friends.It was harder for Ruth. She married Elizabeth's son and then found that, somehow, she could never quite measure up...Isolation, deceit and betrayal fill the gaps between the two individual women and between their different worlds. In this complex thriller, Philippa Gregory deploys all her insight into what women want and what women fear, as Ruth confronts the shifting borders of her own sanity. Laying bare the comfortable conventions of rural England, this spine-tingling novel pulses with suspense until the whiplash double-twist of the denouement.
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In a Tantalizing departure for the bestselling author of Wideacre and, A Respectable Trade, Philippa Gregory now turns to a contemporary setting to tell the story of Ruth Cleary, a young woman who finds herself manipulated by an unbearable set of circumstances -- and ultimately -- pushed beyond her limits.
Ruth and her husband, Patrick, live in Bristol, where she works as a correspondent for a mediocre radio station and he is an up-and-coming TV news reporter. Their marriage is not ideal but the warmth offered by Patrick and his parents is a welcome change for Ruth, who was orphaned at the age of seven. Every Sunday Ruth and Patrick visit his parents at their 18th century manor farmhouse -- afternoons loved by Patrick -- and tolerated by Ruth.
Then "the little house" at the end of her in-laws' lane comes up for sale. When Ruth discovers that she is pregnant, she is persuaded by Patrick and his parents to abandon her career and move from their city apartment to the quaint home in the country -- everything Patrick's mother has always wanted. Ruth is lonely, uncomfortable and bitter. Her husband does not understand, and she is living under the watchful eye of a domineering mother-in-law. Even her own pregnancy seems like a burden. As circumstances threaten to overwhelm her, Ruth struggles to set her life straight with a precarious mix of good humor and outrage, composure and desperation. The result is an engrossing, tragicomic tale of dysfunction -- with an utterly surprising, ironic and intriguing conclusion.About the Author:
Philippa Gregory is an established writer and broadcaster for radio and television. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. She has been widely praised for her historical novels, including Earthly Joys, Virgin Earth, A Respectable Trade, The Queen's Fool, The Virgin's Lover,The Constant Princess, The Boleyn Inheritance, The Other Queen, The White Queen andThe Red Queen as well as her works of contemporary suspense. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for BBC television and is now a major film, starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana. Philippa Gregory lives in the North of England with her family and welcomes visitors to her website PhilippaGregory.com
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