Jane Cody keeps lists. After all, how else would she keep track of her life? – her job producing a Boston TV show; her amiable but frankly dull second husband; and her precocious six-year-old son who ‘doesn’t do small talk’ but loves to bake. And as if that weren’t enough, she has an acid-tongued mother-in-law living in her barn, an arthritic malamute lodger to walk and a dangerously seductive ex-husband on the scene … In New York, Desmond Sullivan is fretting that his five-year relationship with smart, sweet Russell is too monogamous and settled. Perhaps a spell as writer-in-residence at Deerforth College will cure that, and also allow him to finish his biography of one of the sixties greatest forgotten mediocrities, torch singer Pauline Anderton? When Jane and Desmond meet in Boston, they embark on a TV documentary about the elusive Anderton, which is to take them on a journey of self-discovery in which they learn as much about their own secrets and lies as about hers.