At thrity five, Jane, a freelance translator, realises something rather disturbing. After fifteen years spent building the life she believed she wanted, she's failed. She thought she had everything perfectly balanced - working from home allows her to keep her financial independence, spend time with her daughter and escape office politics - but somehow, instead of combining a rewarding career with a satisfying mother-daughter relationship, she's become an all-purpose dogsbody, rushing from crisis to crisis and combining missing deadlines with repairing the dishwasher. Rupert is also leading the life he planned- a job in the city, a glamorous girlfriend, plenty of money. He is beginning to have doubts about the dull but sensible route he's chosen - and to realise it's just possible he wants more out of life. So when he and Jane meet, each escaping their day to day life with a stolen afternoon in the peace of the cinema, they both start to wonder whether it's really enough to settle for 'the next best thing'.
Sarah Long worked for several years in publishing before giving it all up to move to Paris with her husband and three children. Following several years of the Parisian experience, they now live back in London.