Longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize
A good man in a bad world, Jon Sigurdsson is fifty-nine and divorced, a senior civil servant in London who hates many of his colleagues and loathes his work for a government engaged in unmentionable acts.
Meg Williams is a bankrupt accountant—two words you don’t want in the same sentence, or anywhere near your résumé. She’s forty-five and shakily sober, living on Telegraph Hill in London, where she can see the city unfurl below her.
Somewhere out there is Jon, pinballing around the city with a cell phone and a letter-writing habit he can’t break. He’s a man on the brink, leaking government secrets and affection for a woman he barely knows as he runs for his life.
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 twenty-four hours that will change them both forever—they tell an unusual and moving love story.
About A. L. KennedySee more books from this Author
...there are times in Serious Sweet when the transitions between present day and flashback narratives feel jarring and uneven. However, for most of the novel we are immersed in Jon and Meg’s internal worlds, an immersion that is at times deeply affecting.Read Full Review of Serious Sweet | See more reviews from Guardian
What makes this more moving than saccharine is both the pleasantly cynical humour of the characters (Jon spends a vast proportion of his time swearing at himself for his own stupidity) and its wider reach.Read Full Review of Serious Sweet | See more reviews from Guardian
Serious Sweet is a magnificent novel, showing Kennedy at the very top of her game. Ambitious in scope, daring in execution, full of dazzling aperçus and dark comedy, it is a novel about politics and love, the terror and beauty of human connection, and the profound desire to heal and be healed.Read Full Review of Serious Sweet | See more reviews from Financial Times