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The Couples

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781399809450

Price: £9.99

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‘Humorous, deeply emotional and unputdownable’ Sunday Independent, Best Novels of 2023

‘A blockbuster in waiting’ Donal Ryan, author of The Queen of Dirt Island

Normal People for married people’ Irish Times

Eva looked out the attic window of their charming guest house and watched the sun rise. She thought she might be sick. Splayed on the lawn below was Frank, apparently out cold. Her husband snored in the bed behind her. She loved Shay, of course she did, but right now the only person she wanted to think about was Conor. She didn’t want to think about Bea or Lizzie or what Lizzie might have got up to with Shay.

Frank’s 48th birthday had given the three couples an excuse for a much needed night away from children, nagging bills and ailing parents. The drink flowed, life in Dublin with all its stress felt a long way away. When Frank proposed they swap partners, it felt deliciously, irresistibly reckless. One night. No obligations. No expectations. All the women had to do was text a man of their choice.

The only rule? No falling in love.

It was a night that some of them couldn’t remember. And others couldn’t forget.


What a devilishly delicious read about six fascinating and flawed people and their imperfect relationships, their vulnerabilities and betrayals. Empathetic, entertaining and enthralling
Liz Nugent
I adored The Couples! A nuanced and entertaining novel of keenly observed relationships that gripped me from start to finish. Stunning! Lauren Mackenzie is a writer of tremendous talent
Danielle McLaughlin, author of THE ART OF FALLING
A witty, sharply-observed tale of modern relationships. Gorgeously written, Mackenzie's novel is both funny and devastating in turn. A brilliant exploration of love, sex, friendship and ambition in contemporary Ireland
Normal People for married people
Irish Times
Lauren MacKenzie's The Couples is an utterly compulsive read, I couldn't put it down, with characters so authentic they jumped off the page. And how wonderfully refreshing to see older, messy, flawed, complex, sexy, desirable characters in fiction. I adored it
Fíona Scarlett, author of BOYS DON'T CRY
A brilliant novel, perceptive and precise on the intricacies of human relationships, the burdens we place on ourselves and each other, the mad dances we do around love, obligation, impulse and desire. A blockbuster in waiting
Donal Ryan, author of THE QUEEN OF DIRT ISLAND
MacKenzie is a beautiful writer, with an astute eye for the relationships, desires and difficulties that make up modern mid-life, told with humour, compassion and flair. The Couples is an engrossing read, with characters that feel completely realised, their messy complicated existence alive on the page
Olivia Fitzsimons, author of THE QUIET WHISPERS NEVER STOP
The Couples is a provocative, layered meditation on the vagaries of modern friendship, studded with gems of insight and beauty. An intriguing, compelling novel
Nuala O’Connor, author of NORA
A great concept . . . the perils of having your cake and eating it
Heat, ***** Review
I loved this Dublin-set love tangle . . . Sympathetic to the strains and temptations of modern marriage, this story also reveals the destructive consequences of selfishness
Daily Mail
Fresh and stylish . . . a diverting, grown-up story about how the fear of regret and yearning for former selves can make people do rash things, for which there are always consequences
Irish Times
I adored this funny family drama from the first page to the last
Irish Examiner
A must have for your holiday suitcase
Galway Now
Dark and sexy . . . a wonderfully nuanced portrait of the realities of adult relationships . . . A delicious debut that leaves you hungry for what Mackenzie will do next.
Business Post
The Couples deals with relations between a group of middle-class, mid-lifer friends and the long-lasting effects of one ill-judged, hazy incident. It's humorous, deeply emotional and . . . unputdownable.
Sunday Independent Best Novels of 2023