You Don't Have To be Good
Chatto & Windus(June 2009)
‘Missing persons. There are thousands of them out there. Gone without trace. Six hundred a day.’
When 50-year-old Bea goes missing it’s completely out of character. But as the search for her begins, none of her family or friends can quite agree what Bea’s character is. Her husband noticed she’d not been herself lately, her sister thought she should get a more challenging job, the children loved her being there for them, her mother can’t remember who she is and her boss knew she was useless at databases but a lot of fun on Thursday afternoons in the Cambridge Travelodge motel.
Bea’s disappearance tears a hole in the fabric of the lives of all who thought they knew her. As they search, they discover some uncomfortable truths and begin to understand why dependable, sensible, invisible Bea might just have had enough of being good…
Sabrina Broadbent is the Anne Tyler of North London. A subtle, thought-provoking and wryly funny chronicler of lives that are only apparently ordinary.
'Compelling... Broadbent, a clever and subtle writer, is saying something unfashionable vital (and rarely articulated) about the lot of the childless menopausal woman.' -- The Sunday Times Culture Magazine
'As in her previous novel DESCENT...Broadbent again captures the realities of imperfect relationships. Broadbent's writing is funny and spry, and her characters nicely unconventional." -- The Independent