The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life

Author(s): William Nicholson


The award-winning screenwriter of Shadowlands and Gladiator creates an English village and its rich cast of characters in a compulsively readable novel

Laura is content enough with her marriage, her two children, and her part-time job—until an ex-lover whom she had thought was "the one" gets in touch out of the blue. Suddenly passion and excitement are rekindled, and she realizes how stagnant her life has become. But how much happiness has she a right to expect, and what of the pain she might cause to achieve it? Unknown to Laura, many others in her town are living with their own unresolved inner dramas. None of them guesses at her crisis. Yet every decision they take has an impact on those around them. The hidden longings of a large cast of characters interweave in a gripping plot that reveals ordinary life at its richest: comic and tragic, poignant and cruel, surprising and moving—and brilliantly entertaining.


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'Utterly captures the sense of quiet desperation of ordinary lives, the huge emotional vulnerability of having children and the ways in which life turns on a sixpence.' Kate Mosse. 'Nicholson writes about all his diverse characters with great kindness and he's one of those rare novelists who can write about sex' Marina Lewycka. 'The writing is unobtrusively brilliant - I can't remember enjoying and admiring a new novel more' Elizabeth Jane Howard. 'An absolute winner ... amazingly perceptive, very moving, wholly absorbing. What a huge treat is waiting for those who have not read it!' Juliet Nicolson, author of The Perfect Summer. 'a beautiful novel' New Statesman. 'Everyone is hungry to read something broader and more humane than McEwan and Barnes because we want to understand the society we live in ... The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life is what's been keeping me up at nights' Jenni Russell, Sunday Times. 'Modern tales written well can be brilliant and Nicholson's story set in Sussex is one such novel ... It's very well done' Daily Express.

William Nicholson grew up in Sussex and was educated at Downside School and Cambridge. His plays for television include Shadowlands and Life Story, both of which won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award of their year. His first play, an adaptation of Shadowlands for stage, was Evening Standard's Best Play of 1990. He was co-writer on the film Gladiator. He is married with three children and lives in Sussex. Visit his website at

General Fields

  • : 9781849161954
  • : Quercus
  • : Quercus
  • : May 2010
  • : 198mm X 132mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : William Nicholson
  • : Paperback
  • : 910
  • : en
  • : 823.92
  • : 384