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Lucy Banbury is fine.
Until she isn’t…

Lucy Banbury isn’t the sort of person that everyone gets along with – she’s prickly and secretive, and she likes things ordered ‘just so’. But things couldn’t be going better for her – she swims three times a week, she’s on the cusp of a huge promotion at work and she’s dating someone perfect on paper.

But when she discovers at a family wedding that she’s adopted, her whole world is shattered. Those cracks she’s taken years to plaster over are beginning to surface and she’s not sure how much longer she can keep all her secrets hidden, all whilst pretending to be someone she’s not…

Because how can you pretend to love your life, when nobody loves you?

Praise for Kirsty Capes:

‘Accessible yet profound. A rare new talent…she has written something very special here: a novel that transforms, with the lightest of touches’ GUARDIAN

Astounding. Heart-breaking but hopeful, and a fresh new voicePANDORA SYKES

‘Moving and beautifully written’ LIBBY PAGE

‘Made me laugh and cry in equal measure’ GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

A book that deserves to be a huge hitSTYLIST

‘The literary equivalent of gold dust’ BENJAMIN ZEPHANIAH

‘An incredible debut novel. Kirsty Capes is one to watch’ RED

‘A powerful coming-of-age debut’ MARIE CLAIRE

‘Vigorous and insightful’ DAILY MAIL

‘I am so proud of my super-talented former student, Kirsty Capes. I’m so impressed with how her writing has flourished with the cracking characters and energetic prose of her fantastic debut novel’ BERNARDINE EVARISTO

‘Vivid, bold and beautifully observed’

‘A story of every day, that is never told’

‘Real, raw, heart-wrenching and so wonderfully written’


Bess's narration is neither bitter nor self-pitying. Rather, her pragmatism, and humour, make her a compelling protagonist
Heroic and powerful, but also tender; this is such an important novel
So good I'm lying in a tepid bath because my 15 minutes reading turned into 45. What a voice
Elegant and empathic [...] a portrait of how it feels to be young, brazen and terrified
Jessica Moor
I felt this book in my gut! It's funny, it's emotional, and at times definitely heartbreaking, but Bess is a hero you can believe in
It's not often that life in care is talked about, which is just one of the reasons we love this book