Between Us


Some secrets are meant to be … Between us

When Joe and Roisin join their group of friends for a weekend away, it’s a triple celebration — a birthday, an engagement and the launch of Joe’s new crime drama on TV.

But when Roisin sees secrets she shared with Joe play out on the TV screen, she knows that between us means nothing at all.

Roisin finds herself searching for clues to the truth - about her life, their history, and the man she thought she loved. And it’s then that Roisin finds the most unexpected plot twist of them all. Among those same old friends, there’s a surprising potential for new beginnings …

Read An Excerpt From Between Us

Roisin remembered when she used to pay for Joe’s train tickets to London, and for clothes that weren’t faded band tees. She didn’t mind, and today Joe could rightly say her investment had been repaid to the tune of many, many thousands. The apartment was in both their names.

She wasn’t selfishly nostalgic for Joe being dependent on her, she was sure of that. She just wished it hadn’t led here. Once, Joe’s career had felt like wholly shared excitement; she had the seat next to him on the fairground ride. SEEN started out a moon-shot, an outline written in coffee shops, its plot twists tested on Roisin as the first audience.

So, wait: HE turns out to be the man in the video doorbell footage too? Wow, no I wouldn’t see that coming. That’s really clever, Joe.

Then it became a pilot script in Final Draft software — Roisin had enjoyed reading the lead female character’s dialogue aloud for him. She felt robbed when a hair-tossing actress got to say, palms down on desk: ‘Harry. I’d bet my life we’re dealing with identical twins. And if this play we’re making doesn’t come off, I HAVE bet my life!

Thing is, Roisin hadn’t only been unprepared for its impact, she’d been complacent. The great thing about Joe being the writer and not an actor, she’d blathered to the group, is he can get creative fulfilment and no hassle down Burton Road.

When SEEN became signed contracts, they bought fish and chips and a £10 bottle of cava and had a picnic date in the park together. It felt like a statement, instead of going to a fancy restaurant. It’s going to be Still Us, the way we always were, Plus This.

Joe’s diary used to be: get up, drink black coffee, preferably wash, write, stick something in the oven, more writing. Rinse and repeat. Now it became complicated and ablaze with fuss. Roisin learned the lingo of co pros and turnaround and punches.

After a day of high-powered breakfast and lunch meetings in the capital, Joe would get off the train mid-evening at Manchester Piccadilly, and Roisin would meet him for dinner out.

He’d talk too fast and they’d drink too fast and she gloried in every last detail of the latest developments. She was so pleased for him and always thought, girlfriend bias aside, he had the talent to make it.

Then the work came so thick and fast it often made sense to stay in London overnight, and Hollywood called, and he was flying back and forth to Los Angeles. A production company in New York bought the rights to another of his ideas. At some point, Roisin accepted get past this week and things will calm down a bit was a coping mechanism lie of adulthood.

Joe being away never bothered Roisin. She enjoyed her own company, liked hearing about his adventures.

Yet somehow, at some point, hectic and mentally occupied became cold and detached.

Roisin learned not to message Joe when he was away, because she rarely got much back. He must be the only man, she thought, to deploy the heart react emoji to WhatsApps as a dismissal.

  • How’d it go with Fox Searchlight?
  • Did the hire car get replaced?
  • Oh my God that ginger moggy is back soiling our garden! Pooing with his tail vibrating, making unnerving eye contact!
  • You heart defecating cats, OK.

She’d not raised it. When someone comes through the door after five days away bearing a Duty Free Toblerone, you don’t want to greet them with whining.

A thought came to Roisin, and once she’d had the thought she couldn’t Unhave it: the prolonged absences were doubling as practice for breaking up. Each time he returned, he was a degree more distant than the last time.

Life had fundamentally changed, or maybe more accurately and painfully, Joe had changed. Can success really change a person, though, she wondered? Maybe it only brings elements that were always there to the fore?

Nice words about Between Us

  • Sharply relevant, super funny, packs an emotional punch and deeply, deliciously romantic, perfect on every level

  • She's so ridiculously talented . . . consider this recommendation my personal gift to you and your life

  • I LOVE her books PASSIONATELY and this is her best yet