About Us is about three couples, at very different stages in their lives, struggling to connect. I think relationships are fascinating. They ebb and flow and at different stages people fall in and out of love with their partner. Most of the time you can ride out the stormy seas, but sometimes you just grow apart and have to accept that you are no longer compatible.
I think About Us is a timely book, as people have just spent 18 months locked in with their partners, so any cracks in the relationship will have shown up.
I wanted to write something really honest, raw, funny and engaging about couples and relationships in general. I chose three couples who are in their early 20s, early 40s and mid-60s, because I wanted to explore the different stages of life and relationships.
So we have Orla, who is a young woman who meets and falls in love with Paul, but her journey is not straightforward because she has had a difficult childhood and struggles with intimacy.
Then we have Alice and Niall who are in their early 40s, with four kids under the age of ten. Alice hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in ten years and would rather go to bed at nine and watch Netflix than talk to her husband when he gets home from work or, God forbid, have to have sex with him. She’s just too sodding tired.
Finally, we have Ann and Ken who are in their mid-60s. Ken is about to retire and Ann is terrified that the next 20 years will be spent watching bad daytime TV and waiting for death. She wants more from life. Her kids are gone, she wants to travel, experience new things… live. She does not want to get old before her time. But Ken is happy in his big leather armchair watching sport.
Can these three couples find a way to work through their problems, or is it too late?
Sinéad Moriarty’s novels have sold over 900,000 copies in Ireland and the UK. She has won over readers and critics by telling stories that are humane, moving and relevant to modern women. In 2015 she won the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction. She lives in her native Dublin with her husband and their three children.