Books of the year 2010 | Alain de Botton

The Song of Lunch by Christopher Reid

The Song of Lunch (Faber & Faber, £7.99) by Christopher Reid, who won the Costa Prize this year, is a beautiful story about a middle-aged man meeting his ex-girlfriend for lunch. She has clearly moved up in the world; he is stagnant, if not in decline, holding on to a modest job at a Bloomsbury publishing house. This is a book for anyone who wishes to savour the bitter-sweet tastes of a reunion with an ex over lunch - from the excitement at the first olives and grissini to the agonies of the final goodbye.

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This article first appeared in the 22 November 2010 issue of the New Statesman, Advantage Cameron