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Jonathan Cape, £17.99Serious Sweet

Like Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway or James Joyce’s Ulysses, AL Kennedy’s new novel Serious Sweet takes place over a single day and follows the metropolitan wanderings of two characters who eventually meet: Jon, a divorced senior civil servant burdened by shady goings-on in government; and Meg, a recovering alcoholic in treatment for pre-cancerous growths.

Time-stamped segments alternate between the two, but Kennedy also cuts away to brief observations of London life, on the Tube or on the street, in which random kindness breaks out during the daily grind…

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