Tom is a respected Cosmologist. Amanda is a high-flying management consultant. Kate is their new baby and Sarah is their nanny. And Alice is a child who lives on the other side of London and who has recently developed a taste for fairy tales because everyone, in the end, gets exactly what they deserve.


'Devastating…A novel which demands to be read in one sitting' Sunday Telegraph

‘A triumph…dark and scary and humorous and oddly moving and at times plain nasty. New mothers will love it.’ Literary Review

'Sally Emerson's assault on marriage is as lively as her panegyric on babyhood. For sensitivity hitched to wit she is a delight to read.' Mail on Sunday

'Thoroughly gripping..this is a poignant, absorbing and terribly heart-rending story' Mary Gladstone, Scotsman
'Sharply observed ... Emerson makes no judgements but rather accurately observes the whirlpool of conflicting feelings that can overwhelm the most hard head of women who are dominated by their gurgling Buddhas.' Time Out

‘A strong, engrossing and disturbing story, and one that turns upside down the idea that women nowadays are in charge of their own lives. They’re not; they’re in thrall to motherhood. It’s the children who hold the power, and who know how to use it.’ Deborah Moggach

‘With dark wit, Emerson lets the infant express the earth-shattering truth about children…reaches deep into the marrow bone of mother love.’ She

‘A jewel of a book: brilliant, cutting, valuable, and full of illumination. It’s the most wickedly witty and ruthlessly honest book I’ve ever read on the nature of motherhood, the mother-child bond, and how a child changes completely the relationship between husband and wife.’ Nancy Thayer

‘Emerson is a writer who excels in portraying the darkness beneath polished surfaces. Her observation is as good as ever, and she continues to unearth the uncertainty and pain beneath the sophisticated veneer …the real heart of the novel is the inexplicable power of children over their parents…calculated to unleash strong feelings in the least maternal of readers.’ Christina Patterson, Times Literary Supplement