The Randalls are the fashionable, aspirant, working family to be found on every street. Until their relationships' frailties are brutally laid bare by explosive revelations. Amid the toxic fallout from the household's spiralling debt, there's the destructive affair of beautiful Cathy - wife and mother-of-two - with her urbane boss.
What Goes and Comes Around follows the journeys of four estranged individuals, slowly, painfully grasping that they have constructed their own little worlds on treacherously shaky foundations. Dreams are often flawed and selfish rather than inspired and rewarding, and fashion and consumerism's tempting glitz can't replace the family unit's loving support.
Redundancy, a humbling visit to his folk's place and wild idealism rediscovered in rock and roll nostalgia open Ian Randall's eyes to his downfall's inevitability. The abrupt, cruel end of his wife's romance with wealthy, ruinous Michael leads her on a parallel, lonely route to self-discovery. But in the austere modern world, the price of enlightenment could become unbearably high.
While their parents struggle to find their feet, young Davie Randall's cheeky entrepreneurialism and his sister Alicia's embryonic musical career attract the unhealthy interest of the local hood, Liam Briggs. His reckless interference puts the kids' lives on the line. Only by pulling together and finding strength in each other again can their stricken parents hope to avert disaster... Isn't it clear that reconciliation and some tough decisions might just help them through their financial crisis to recover, better and wiser human beings?
Set in the post-industrial North in the great financial crash's aftermath, What Goes and Comes Around adapts and modernises the realist-cum-naturalistic novel, producing a sharp, poignant and sometimes acerbically funny study of twenty-first century life. Accessible prose and subtle, aesthetic patterning shape a novel that can be enjoyed by all: a penetrating, modern exploration of love, betrayal, debt, dreams and popular culture, and the very economic system we live under.
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