One Day I Shall Astonish the World

Nina Stibbe


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Penguin Books Ltd
20 April 2023
ISBN: 9780241451175
384 pages

From the publisher

From the prize-winning author of Reasons to be Cheerful comes a story about the ebb and flow of female friendship over half a lifetime

'A true gift of a novel, I utterly adored it. For as long as I could make it last, the world just felt a bit nicer.' Meg Mason

'Wonderful . . . Her best yet' Kathy Burke

'I loved it so SO much! Funnier than ever but with a new depth and maturity' Marian Keyes

Susan and Norma have been best friends for years, at first thrust together by force of circumstance (a job at The Pin Cushion, a haberdashery shop in 1990s Leicestershire) and then by force of character (neither being particularly inclined to make friends with anyone else). But now, thirty years later, faced with a husband seeking immortality and Norma out of reach on a wave of professional glory, Susan begins to wonder whether she has made the right choices about life, love, work, and, most importantly, friendship.

Nina Stibbe's new novel is the story of the wonderful and sometimes surprising path of friendship: from its conspiratorial beginnings, along its irritating wrong turns, to its final gratifying destination.

'A lovingly observed testament to the complexities and profundities of female friendship' Elizabeth Day

'Nina Stibbe is not just very funny but absolutely life-affirming' Jenny Colgan

'Stibbe writes some of the best-turned comic sentences in contemporary writing. Like Susan, she makes it look easier than it must be' Sunday Times

'Nina Stibbe is one of our funniest novelists - it's time to take her seriously' Daily Telegraph

'Stibbe is one of the all-time greats' Daisy Buchanan

'Clever and funny, it takes a sharp look at the intricacies of marriage, friendship, work and driving. As with all Stibbe's writing there is a pleasingly perfect balance of wisdom with jokes' Cathy Rentzenbrink

'For beautifully funny and well-observed comic writing, Nina Stibbe is your go-to author. In her latest release, a tale of lifelong friendship between Susan and Norma, she explores the mistakes, rivalries and love we all experience in life' Stylist

'One of the great comic writers of our time' Irish Times