Divorce may start with the failure of love, but in the end, it is always about money.”

“At first her situation did not seem so unusual. Most graduates like herself had heaved furniture, waited tables, tutored tots and swallowed anger just to survive. They had grown up in the golden years of national optimism when going to university was just the firststep to a glorious new future in which every problem, from world hunger to global warming, would be solved; instead, they had come to adulthood with economic catastrophe, increasingly deranged wolrd leaders and a sense of impending doom. The personal was political and the political personal, in an existence where the only certainty was debt for degrees that gave no obvious advantage. The older generations (who had experienced nothing but luck) mocked them for being anxious, depressed and vulnerable; those who could not or would not live with their parents rented flats where mould and mice were as commonplace as multiple occupancy.”

“Unlike the wives of rich men, she could not force her husband to give her alimony once they were divorced…To those who have shall be given: but to those who have not shall be taken away. In other words, In order to get money in a divorce, you must already have some.”

“It became clear that she, or rather her husband, must have a second home in Fol, the town where the rich moored their yachts and second-homeowners spent their summers, Hannah was well acquainted with it because ever since she was old enough to hold a Dyson,she’d earned money cleaning their houses. Fol was all that St Piran was not, wired up with the latest technology, 4×4 cars, pretty shops and Waitrose deliveries. In this Cornwall, everything was lovely apart from the Cornish. Hannah had grown u[ hearing her friends and family described as ‘those ghastly people.’”

“There are people who read out of necessity, and people who read out of love. Hannah was one of the latter, and when she found a book she liked she sank into it as if into another world. Voices, music, pneumatic drills all became inaudible; she was the kind of child who would go off in break times not to play ot talk but to read. It was the annoyance of her life that it was impossible to walk while reading, and that she needed to sleep or eat.”