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You Don't Have to be Good

320 pages

Bea is in her late forties, has a dead-end job with the Council in Cambridge, and is married to Frank, a feckless would-be writer with extra-mural distractions. Bea¿s successful sister, Katharine, the one who always worked hard, is a consultant paediatrician with two children (nerdy, nice twelve-year-old Adrian and difficult, funny teenage Laura) whom Bea has minded off-and-on since they were small.
One morning Bea simply disappears. Her work mates are concerned when the normally reliable Bea doesn¿t turn up; her husband is suspected of foul play; her uptight sister becomes increasingly emotional and starts to unravel. Only the kids seem quietly, genuinely upset. The police dig up Frank¿s patio; Katharine finds she can¿t really function without the sister she¿s taken for granted; the children, more practically, check websites. As time goes by, though, the Bureau of Mispers. doesn't hold out much hope. Bea, it emerges, has history which her nearest and dearest know little about, and things don't turn out quite as they might have liked or expected.
You Don¿t Have to be Good looks at what happens when a woman reaches the point where being good is no longer an option.

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You Don't Have to be Good