Author(s): A. L. Kennedy
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2016 MAN BOOKER PRIZE
A good man in a bad world, Jon Sigurdsson is 59 and divorced: a senior civil servant in Westminster who hates many of his colleagues and loathes his work for a government engaged in unmentionable acts. A man of conscience.
Meg Williams is 'a bankrupt accountant - two words you don't want in the same sentence, or anywhere near your CV'. She's 45 and shakily sober, living on Telegraph Hill, where she can see London unfurl below her. Somewhere out there is safety.
Somewhere out there is Jon, pinballing around the city with a mobile phone and a letter-writing habit he can't break. He's a man on the brink, leaking government secrets and affection as he runs for his life.
Set in 2014, this is a novel of our times. Poignant, deeply funny, and beautifully written, Serious Sweet is about two decent, damaged people trying to make moral choices in an immoral world: ready to sacrifice what's left of themselves for honesty, and for a chance at tenderness. As Jon and Meg navigate the sweet and serious heart of London - passing through 24 hours that will change them both for ever - they tell a very unusual, unbearably moving love story.
Long-listed for Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2016.
"Kennedy tenderly anatomised London and loneliness in Serious Sweet." -- Ali Smith Guardian, Book of the Year "So beautiful that it makes your head hurt." -- Katy Guest Independent "Serious Sweet is a magnificent novel, showing Kennedy at the very top of her game. Ambitious in scope, daring in execution, full of dazzling apercus and dark comedy... It is a tale of redemption, as serious and as sweet as you could wish for." -- Rebecca Abrams Financial Times "A. L. Kennedy shakes her city until the right atoms collide. She stands back to give a picture of the whole of London on one day, and then suddenly swoops down to pick up a tiny detail." -- Kate Saunders The Times "Deeply affecting... Kennedy strips her characters emotionally bare... Serious Sweet portrays intense lives of quiet desperation: it is a novel about hope and muted courage and, at the end of the day, a very tentatively experienced optimism." -- Hannah Beckerman Observer
A. L. Kennedy has twice been selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists and has won a host of other awards - including the Costa Book of the Year for her novel Day. She lives in London and is a part-time lecturer in creative writing at Warwick University.