Jo is getting over the breakup of her marriage and managing to create a makeshift existence for her three children when the fragile happiness she has found with a new lover is violently shattered. Her impulse is to flee, to return with her children to the house in London where she grew up. But it is Jo's teenage daughter who actually runs away - jumping from a train between stations, turning up briefly at the home of her oblivious father and his intrusive new wife, then continuing to run, on her own and increasingly at risk. Why Jo doesn't give chase, whey she doesn't seek help or report her daughter missing, becomes gradually clear in a novel distinguished equally by its consummate artistry and its startling perceptiveness. First Aid challenges our notion of what a good mother is and says and does.
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