London, March 2020. Angela is reeling from the sudden death of her husband Robert. As the world hunkers down against the pandemic, she and her two children - home from university - lock down in their grief and remembrance.
Except Angela has this gnawing sensation, a tightness in her chest every time she thinks of Robert. He could be harsh, critical, often belittling in front of others. But he did his best - didn't he? He looked after them, even if he did make the decisions and laugh at her small ambitions. Even if he controlled most things in Angela's so-called life.
As lockdown drags on with its do-gooder neighbours and their cake-baking and competitive Clapping for Carers, Angela makes a disturbing discovery on Robert's old phone: messages from a woman who clearly had a close relationship with her late husband. Enraged but liberated by the betrayal, Angela starts to reclaim her life.
Until she runs into Zana. Zana, who appears to be watching her house. Zana, with her small child in tow. Zana, and her inexplicable connection to Robert...
When Angela decides to help Zana she is forced to reframe her outlook, check her privilege and confront how exactly she plans to live the rest of her life. Slowly they build a relationship based on their mutual recognition, and when Zana introduces Angela to her friends at the local homeless mother and child hostel, she discovers a different, more hopeful, kind of family bubble.
Wickedly dark but full of heart, this is a story of pulling together and finding love and connection in the most surprising of places.
Shipping: July Last Week