‘Diana Evans is a lyrical and glorious writer; a precise poet of the human heart’
Naomi Alderman

‘Evans has earned comparisons to Dickens with her panoramas of a jumbled, multitudinous London, but Tolstoy remains her spirit guide in how he intertwined the public and the private, the momentous and the mundane’
The New Yorker

‘That rarest thing: a literary novel about real, recognizable human beings—a poignant portrait of middle life in London’s middle class. Evans has given us four thirtysomething characters so perfectly drawn that they seem to come from a brilliant Netflix dramedy, but has rendered them with a classical prose so confident that it seems to come from a 19th century novel. Beach reading for the thinking beachgoer: as intelligent and insightful as it is hilariously entertaining’
Taiye Selasi

‘Rich, complex and quietly extreme, Ordinary People is a forensic study of human relationships, one that finds, like the best novels, universality in the specific. It is also a supreme London novel…The prose is never on its best behaviour: it’s inquisitive, deliciously exploratory, favouring the unexpected adjective over the predictable. In short, it’s a joy from start to finish’
Literary Review

‘Evans’s switch of registers from the satirical to the compassionate, and then to a kind of gothic horror, showcases her fine, versatile writing…the soap-opera trajectory of Ordinary People has a movie quality. It could easily be reimagined for the screen, though the film would not capture the sheer energy and effervescence of Evans’s funny, sad, magnificent prose’
The Guardian

‘Evans writes with great humour and insight…a deftly observed, elegiac portrayal of modern marriage, and the private – often painful – quest for identity and fulfilment in all its various guises’
The Observer

‘Deep and addictive…A probing, entertaining, and self-affirming novel of men and women getting relatably lost in the crises and hauntings of early midlife’

Ordinary People sings with every word. The writing is pitch perfect, the underlying politics of race and gender is never heavy handed, and the characterisation of south London is enviable. I know these streets and they beat to the music that runs through this book. My playlist of the year is of the tracks Evans weaves into her words. A lyrical and beautiful story. It’s a triumph’
Christie Watson

‘There is something radical in how Evans depicts the ordinary lives of young black people, faithfully, fully and quietly. When Michael strolls through a part of south London, he reflects passingly on the “menace” behind the flag of St George and feels a “never-ending sorrow for Stephen”. Evans doesn’t need to complete the name because she knows that we already know it and that the murder of a young black teenager forms part of the fabric of our ordinary life, too. It’s an utterly piercing moment’
Financial Times

Ordinary People is that rarest of books – a portrait that lays bare the normality of black family life in suburban London, while revealing its deepest psyche, its tragedies, its hopes and its magic. The words are infused with a beauty that leaves the reader spellbound and yet astounded by the familiarity of it all. I had not realised how much I longed for characters like these until I found them, brought alive here with such compassion. A wondrous book’
Afua Hirsch

‘This is a wonderful novel — generous, clear-sighted and rich with the old-fashioned pleasure of characters you’re left impatient to revisit…An absorbing, beautifully written slice of London life unsung by most literary fiction’

‘Evans’s prose is always magnificent, composed and unshowy; it’s as if she measured each sentence, trimmed the excess weight, then fitted it into place’
Daily Telegraph

‘With astute observations on marriage and parenthood, sublime descriptions of sex, and an accompanying playlist to boot, this novel is anything but ordinary. It’s a sparkling gem’
Library Journal

‘Diana Evans writes exquisitely beautifully about the interior landscapes of human relationships set against the urban and suburban cityscapes of London. Her characters are portrayed with depth, perceptiveness and complexity, and through the descriptions of their emotional journeys, we discover a language to understand ourselves’
Bernardine Evaristo

‘A rewarding and ruthlessly funny novel’
The Times

‘One of the best novels about relationships in London of recent years’

‘Diana Evans has masterfully crafted a beautiful, nuanced story about love, loss, and redemption. With compelling prose and an uncanny insight into the questions life throws at us as human beings, she has established herself as a voice to behold’
Nicole Dennis-Benn

‘Ordinary People is a very funny book. But you’d better like your comedy acrid, bitter and spicy… a reminder of the power that only the novel has: to show you a familiar world from someone else’s perspective’
Evening Standard

‘Diana Evans has an alluring sense of time, place and identity as she writes about the complicated turning points of life, delivering descriptions that are simultaneously subtle and vivid, stories both intimate and collective. Here are pages that deserve to be lingered over, savoured, and re-read’
Margaret Busby

‘One of the (very many) things that makes Ordinary People exceptional is the even-handed sympathy and unflinching fidelity with which Evans charts the changing weather both of her protagonists’ emotions and family life. She excels at dialogue and she’s also a soulful, lyrical chronicler of London’
Daily Mail

‘This is a highly enjoyable novel, full of wit and sharp observation’
Sunday Express

‘Striking…With penetrating emotional and psychological observations, Evans creates a realistic portrayal of the couples as they struggle to redefine commitment. Readers looking for careful studies of relationship dynamics will find much to contemplate’
Publishers Weekly