How many times can we love -- truly love -- in the course of one lifetime?
Alfie Budd found the perfect woman. Then he lost her. And he doesn't believe you get a second chance at love.
Returning to London after a brief, idyllic marriage overseas, Alfie Budd finds his world collapsing around him -- his parents' marriage, his grand-mother's health, his own ambitions for his career. If only he could pick up the phone and call his beloved Rose, the wife he lost. But Rose is gone forever.
Believing his chance for love has passed, Alfie takes comfort in a string of fleeting affairs while he teaches at Churchill's Language School. But then Alfie meets two people who help him to start putting his broken heart back together.
One is George Chang, the old Chinese man he sees practicing Tai Chi in the park every morning. Surrounded by his strong, loving family, George Chang teaches Alfie more than Tai Chi.
The other is Jackie Day, a single mother who needs Alfie's help in completing her education so she can go back to college. But what happens when the teacher starts falling for his student?
Can Alfie give up meaningless sex for a mean-ingful relationship? Will he ever have a family life like the Changs'? And how much room in our hearts do we really have for love?
Like his runaway bestseller, Man and Boy, Tony Parsons's new novel is full of laughter and tears, biting social comment and overwhelming emotion. It is a book about love, family, sex, Tai Chi and the human heart.