In the City of Love’s Sleep by novelist and poet Lavinia Greenlaw is a contemporary fable about what it means to fall in love in middle age, charting the steps two people take towards one another and what it means to have taken those steps before.
Iris, a museum conservator in her late forties, is separating from her husband while bringing up two daughters in a house that’s falling down. Raif is a stalled academic whose girlfriend is about to move in. They meet by chance, nothing important is said, yet Iris turns away and starts to run. She is running from what this encounter has woken in her.
‘This is a beautiful, unforced novel about an old subject made new . . . The writing is present-tense choreography, as easy to read as gliding across parquet.’ Observer