You might think The Carer rather an unpromising title, but Deborah Moggach’s book delivers a wickedly witty entertainment. Towards the end, she describes the setting where a crucial event takes place — ‘somewhere as humdrum as a caravan park, toilet block, clock golf, Tupperware’. So very good at describing the ordinary, she transforms it into the unusual, shocking and fascinating. Behind the normality of people’s lives there often lies an extraordinary story. It’s this that Moggach tells with insight, acute observation of character and mordant humour.
The carer is Mandy, ‘doughy-faced’, fat-legged, stout of person and of purpose: ‘I speak as I find.’ She is employed by the middle-aged son, Robert, and daughter, Phoebe, of James Wentworth, a retired, widowed, internationally distinguished professor of particle physics.