In a Tantalizing departure for the bestselling author of Wideacre and, A Respectable Trade, Philippa Gregory now turns to a contemporary setting to tell the story of Ruth Cleary, a young woman who finds herself manipulated by an unbearable set of circumstances -- and ultimately -- pushed beyond her limits. Ruth and her husband, Patrick, live in Bristol, where she works as a correspondent for a mediocre radio station and he is an up-and-coming TV news reporter. Their marriage is not ideal but the warmth offered by Patrick and his parents is a welcome change for Ruth, who was orphaned at the age of seven. Every Sunday Ruth and Patrick visit his parents at their 18th century manor farmhouse -- afternoons loved by Patrick -- and tolerated by Ruth. Then the little house at the end of her in-laws' lane comes up for sale. When Ruth discovers that she is pregnant, she is persuaded by Patrick and his parents to abandon her career and move from their city apartment to the quaint home in the country -- everything Patrick's mother has always wanted. Ruth is lonely, uncomfortable and bitter. Her husband does not understand, and she is living under the watchful eye of a domineering mother-in-law. Even her own pregnancy seems like a burden. As circumstances threaten to overwhelm her, Ruth struggles to set her life straight with a precarious mix of good humor and outrage, composure and desperation. The result is an engrossing, tragicomic tale of dysfunction -- with an utterly surprising, ironic and intriguing conclusion.