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This Has Been Absolutely Lovely


Molly’s a millennial home organiser about to have her first baby. Obviously her mum, Annie, will help with the childcare. Everyone else’s parents are doing it.

But Annie’s dreams of music stardom have been on hold for thirty-five years, paused by childbirth then buried under her responsibilities as a mother, wage earner, wife, and only child of ailing parents. Finally, she can taste freedom.

As Molly and her siblings gather in the close quarters of the family home over one fraught summer, shocking revelations come to light. Everyone is forced to confront the question of what it means to be a family.

This Has Been Absolutely Lovely is a story about growing up and giving in, of parents and children, of hope and failure, of bravery and defied expectation, and the question of whether it is ever too late to try again.


'THIS HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY LOVELY is hilarious, poignant, and a genuine page-turner. The characters are beautifully drawn; complex, flawed, relatable. Even the seemingly irredeemable reveal their humanity. Dettman’s tone is addictively dry and often laugh-out-loud funny, but the family drama that unfolds is a proper yarn, with lovely dramatic twists and gorgeous revelations and resolutions ...simply a cracking holiday reading for anyone who has ever found themselves in a family.



'A totally engaging and disarmingly charming writer.'


'Dettmann is a fine comic writer. She has an eye for the small details, irritations and inspirations of life which coupled with a truly original turn of phrase and great way with a gag makes for sparkling and heart-warming reading.'


'With humour and heart, Dettmann weaves an unforgettable tale about the lives we choose, and the lives that choose us. Dettmann nails the sad, funny and bizarre nuances of family life in this gripping novel that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty, Jojo Moyes and Marian Keyes.'


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