Charles Redfern is in a coma. As he lies motionless in hospital, his wife Anne and daughter Charlotte are forced to come together to confront their relationships with him - and with each other. Anne, once regarded as beautiful and clever, has felt herself disappearing for years, paling beside her husband's harsh brilliance. Anxious to fit in with the expectations of the people around her, she keeps her disillusionment buried inside, mechanically attending the endless round of drinks parties and dinners in her keenly social neighbourhood, and trying to ignore the guilt that trails behind her like a shadow. Charlotte, battling an inner darkness that threatens to overwhelm her, is desperate to prevent her relationship with not-yet-divorced Gabriel from disintegrating through her own self-sabotage. As the full truth of Charles's hold over them emerges into the light, both women must come to terms with the choices they have made, and the uncertainty of a future without the figure that has dominated them for so long. Elizabeth Day's debut novel speaks beautifully and frankly about the banal horror of fractured relationships and the uncomfortable truths behind smiling family photographs. Poetic, absorbing and deeply moving, Scissors, Paper, Stone is a story of damage, survival and restoration, and of the powerful ties that bind us together.

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