In this, her eighth short-story collection, Wendy Perriam casts a spotlight on both mothers and lovers, exploring, on the one hand, the influence of bad parenting on our future happiness, and, on the other, the power of transformative sex to transport us from mundane reality to an electrifying realm. She also chronicles the lives of those lonely, thwarted, or unduly pressured by their jobs. Many of these, however, succeed in effecting lucky escapes or making courageous bids for freedom. A feisty octogenarian flees the cramped horizons of a care home; a stressed businesswoman renounces the straitjacket of nine-to-five; a bride-to-be breaks off her engagement to a man whose obsession with numbers threatens her chance of marital harmony. As always in her work, Perriam is fascinated by the intrepid search for self-fulfilment in an uncertain world, and by those crucial moments in ordinary lives that prove to be epiphanies or turning points. Bad Mothers Brilliant Lovers explores such transformations with compassion, humour and emotional precision, in this lively and inventive new collection from one of Britain’s leading short-story writers.