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Quiet and reliable, Douglas Ashburner has never been much of a womaniser. So when he begins an extra-marital affair with Nina, a bossy, temperamental artist with a penchant for risky sex, he finds adultery a terrible strain. He tells his wife that he needs a rest, so she happily packs him off for a fishing holiday in the Highlands. Only, unkwn to her, Douglas is actually flying off to Moscow with Nina, as a guest of the Soviet Artists' Union. It is then that things begin to get very complicated indeed...
Beryl Bainbridge wrote seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television, she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, and won literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and the Author of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.