The Answer to Everything

By Luke Kennard

A heartbreakingly moving and hilariously funny novel about marriage, parenting, love, desire and betrayal.

‘Captivating’ Ruth Jones, author of Us Three

‘Tremendous’ William Boyd author of Any Human Heart

‘Funny, wry, unsettling’ Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall

Emily should be happy. She has a nice husband (even if they rarely speak to each other, let alone sleep in the same bed), two little boys she loves (even if a full night’s sleep is a distant memory) – and now, a brand-new house in which they can live out all of the bourgeois fantasies she knows she should be ashamed of. But still she aches for something more.
Enter Alathea and Elliott, their new neighbours, and also parents of two young boys. Alathea is intimidatingly confident and beautiful, but also disarmingly open and friendly. And Elliott … Elliott is intriguing. Dishevelled, talented, charming and a little lost, he seems as fascinated by Emily as she is by him, and soon their friendship has reached an intensity neither of them seem able to control.
As riotously funny as it is painfully moving, this is a novel about disappointment and yearning; about parenting and growing up; and the search for love, meaning and connection.

Format: Paperback
Release Date: 17 Feb 2022
Pages: 416
ISBN: 978-0-00-844454-9
Luke Kennard is the author of six collections of poetry and one other novel, The Transition. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2005 and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2007. In 2014 he was selected by the Poetry Book Society as one of the Next Generation Poets. He lectures at the University of Birmingham.

”'Emotional, absorbing … Kennard has a poet’s flair for noticing the electric in the quotidian” - Guardian

”'Captivating and exquisite - I loved the unpredictability of the story and the gorgeously lyrical writing. The dialogue is so clever and the characters so emotionally brave. This book sort of hypnotized me!” - Ruth Jones, author of Us Three

”'A funny, wry, unsettling and ultimately redemptive novel about love and narcissism, and about the versions of ourselves that technology both creates and destroys” - Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall

”'An intelligent, human, and moving story about love and betrayal in all of their puzzling subtleties” - Niamh Campbell, author of This Happy

”'A tremendous novel - funny, shrewd, poignantly destabilising - and charged with Luke Kennard’s laconic wit and his gimlet eye for the foibles and nuances of human behaviour. A huge success.” - William Boyd author of Any Human Heart

”'Packed with sparkling, laugh-out-loud dialogue and characters so nuanced their heartache feels real, The Answer to Everything is that rare thing: a book with a brilliant twist which also happens to be touching and hilarious” - Isy Suttie, author of The Actual One

‘Savagely funny, very highly recommended’ Bookseller -

”'Superb … many of Kennard’s readers will recognise so much of themselves and their lives in this book that they’ll be nodding away like Churchill dogs” - Daily Telegraph

”'This satirical romance about nervy millennials is unbelievably sharp and snappy. I just loved this brilliant novel and can’t recommend it enough” - Daily Mail

”'With shiny-sharp humour, Luke Kennard take us down the dark alleys of longing in the domestic setting” - Sainsbury’s Magazine