Nick Duerden's grandparents were always just ... there. A mysterious yet unchanging presence in his life, a source of dutiful visits, birthday cards and carefully preserved rituals: lunches, dinners and endless card games. But, as he enters midlife, and his 98-year-old grandmother enters a care home, he realises that, like so many of us, he should perhaps have paid more attention to her true worth years before.
It is easy to take for granted the things that are always around us, the people who are always there. And yet they often hold the keys to who we really are. As Nick goes in search of the secrets his late mother took to the grave, he finds that it can be the smallest things that keep us together when so much is left unspoken.
This is a memoir of the tiny dramas that fill all our lives, and a celebration of the special ties that can bind two intimately connected strangers. Tender and poignant, it captures the richness, and also the complexity, of family life.