Jack & Bet
Even the longest marriages have their secrets . . .
Jack Chalmers is a man of few words, married to a woman of many. He and Bet have been together for seventy years - almost a lifetime - and happily so, for the most part.
All Jack and Bet want is to enjoy the time they have left together, in the flat they have tried to make their home. Their son Tommy has other ideas: he wants them to live somewhere with round-the-clock care, hot meals, activities. Bet thinks they can manage just fine.
When they strike up an unlikely friendship with Marinela, a young Romanian woman, Bet thinks she has found the perfect solution - one that could change Marinela's life as well as theirs. But this means revisiting an old love affair, and confronting a long-buried secret she has kept hidden from everyone, even Jack, for many years.
Tender, moving and beautifully told, Sarah Butler's Jack & Bet is an unforgettable novel about love and loss, the joys and regrets of a long marriage, and the struggle to find a place to call home.
In the media
Jack & Bet is a tender and deeply affecting novel about everyday people living everyday lives. I marvelled at how Sarah got under the skin of her characters as well as her unflinching exploration of the meaning of home, all done in such a natural and sensitive way. Full of beauty, pain and joy, I loved Jack & Bet
Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us
I look forward to Sarah Butler's books which are always honest and tender. Jack & Bet is a moving yet unsentimental story about family and love and the secrets we live with
Paul McVeigh, author of The Good Son
Sarah Butler hooks you with the controlled power of her writing, her eye for detail and her feel for the secrets hidden within everyday lives. Jack & Bet is at once a portrait of a marriage and a corner of London in transition. With mounting tension, it demonstrates why it’s never too late to have your world turned upside down
Oliver Harris, author of A Shadow of Intelligence
Seductive and assured, Jack & Bet is a warm, wise and wonderfully defiant exploration of a long marriage and a short-lived experiment in social housing. Butler holds up a mirror to British society, reflecting its brilliance, illuminating its darkness and pulling it all off with a deceptively light touch
Emma Claire Sweeney, author of Owl Song at Dawn