The Language of Others, by Clare Morrall

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A worthy successor to Morrall's Booker short-listed Astonishing Splashes of Colour – but unfortunately, in more ways than one, this three-strand narrative has Jessica, as child, wife and mother, negotiating her way through life finding other people quite inexplicable.

Nothing unusual in that, you might think – except that the denouement is supposed to reveal, not-very-surprisingly, the cause of Jessica's uniqueness. Some well-judged scenes along the way, and an absolute rotter of an ex-husband, just about redeem this earnest tale.