A self-styled ‘Bigger Picture’ man, James has his head in the clouds, and the ‘fairy-tale’ celebrity obituaries he writes for a tabloid are currently all the rage. Conversely very practical and matter-of-fact, June is a respected and uncompromising author of violent and sexually explicit Radical Feminist fiction. In their late thirties, with a precocious teenage son, they are a talented, thoroughly contemporary London couple.
In spite of conflicting perspectives and a deep-rooted loathing of each other’s work, for seventeen years they’ve managed to live with their differences happily, but recently their arguments are coming to a head. Even as her latest collection of lurid short stories fast becomes an unlikely bestseller, if June isn’t crabby she’s glum, and she’s never in the mood to have sex any more.
When James begins to suspect that she’s having an affair, his whole world is threatened with mid-life collapse. Over three successive Augusts, and distracted by scandals and colourful deaths, he drifts in unlikely directions while he tries to decide whether June can be trusted or his marriage has finally fallen apart.