Rules For Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane
Shortlisted for the Bollinger Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2020
'Midway through my fortieth year, I reached a point where the balance of the past and all it contained seemed to outweigh the future, my mind so full of things said and not said, done and undone, I no longer understood how to move forward'
May is at a crossroads. Although her career as a gardener for the university is flourishing, the rest of her life has narrowed to a parched routine. Her father is elderly, her brother estranged, and she keeps her neighbours at arm's length.
The missing element, she realises, might be friendship. As May sets off on a journey to visit four neglected friends one-by-one, she holds herself (and them) to humorously high standards, while at home she begins to confront the pain of her past and imagine for herself a different kind of future. May's quest becomes an exploration of the power, and perhaps limits, of modern friendship.