It is the morning after a husband's affair has been discovered, and the house is in chaos: the opening to Tolstoy's Anna Karenina (1877) is deliberately evoked in Toni Jordan's novel Our Tiny, Useless Hearts. Now, three couples – Caroline and Henry, Lesley and Craig, and Janice and Alec – and the marital interloper, Martha, must redefine love under new circumstances. As marriages break up and re-form, the narrator, Janice, attempts to protect her nieces, Mercedes and Paris, from a reproduction of her own largely fatherless childhood.
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, click 'Sign In' in the top left-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.