Laura and Ben knew the joys of first love when they were students together. When they meet again after a 20-year separation the time that they’ve spent apart seems to fall away. But although their desire for each other is simple, their lives are complex, and the recurring question is whether their love can survive the burdens and pressures of their other commitments. This mature, delicate and perceptive novel is full of empathy and refuses to simply judge or condemn. There is a sense of considered inevitability about Gale’s conclusions as he leads us with true writerly skill through the experiences of his diverse cast of characters.