Full of complexities and healthy doses of humor, Ms. Cheek's latest is a refreshing look at a middle-aged woman unafraid to embrace her sexuality. With a thorough view of the lives of the players, especially Dilys and her sister, Virginia, Ms. Cheek explores their past and its effect on the future.

Dilys Holmes has a picture-perfect English life. Her husband, Francis, is a successful lawyer, and her two sons are grown and on their own. But after the death of her friend Carole, Dilys realizes there is a hole in her life.

In response she embarks on an affair with Matthew, a man she met shortly after Carole's death. On the pretense of visiting her Aunt Eliza, Dilys sees Matthew more frequently. As the frantic pace of the affair continues, Dilys runs into a snag when an upcoming funeral forces her to locate Aunt Eliza.

In a surprising turn of events, Dilys's visit to Eliza asking her to corroborate her story results in an unusual disclosure from this elusive woman.

(Nov., 288 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick