Author(s): Gwendoline Riley
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017Neve is a writer in her mid-30s married to an older man, Edwyn. For now they are in a place of relative peace, but their past battles have left scars. As Neve recalls the decisions that led her to this marriage, she tells of other loves and other debts, from her bullying father and her self-involved mother to a musician who played her and a series of lonely flights from place to place.Drawing the reader into the battleground of her relationship, Neve spins a story of helplessness and hostility, an ongoing conflict in which both husband and wife have played a part. But is this, nonetheless, also a story of love?
With an intricate economy of words, Riley gently exposes the cracks in a marriage as it falls apart. But this is also a modern love story, as the central characters, Never and Edwyn, cannot live without each other despite ongoing hostilities. I found this tightly wound novel, a portrait of a marriage, absolutely absorbing. Molly
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017
Gwendoline Riley was born in London in 1979. She is the author of the novels Cold Water, Sick Notes, Joshua Spassky and Opposed Positions. Her writing has won a Betty Trask Award and a Somerset Maugham Award, and has been shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. First Love was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2017.