Is it better to forgive and forget, or should you just get even? Is it possible to live in the country and not lose your mind completely? Do chickens really make good pets? And what exactly is a hardy perennial? Alice Mayhew, part-time architect and full-time mother to Alfie, is to gardening what Alan Titchmarsh is to deep-sea fishing. So finding shes been volunteered to design a new garden for the village comes as a bit of a shock, because apart from anything else shes far too busy trying to convince Alfie that wearing green trousers doesnt make you Peter Pan, and that flying is best left to the experts. Molly OBrien is finding it hard enough coping with Lily (aged four and likes washing up) and Matt (aged thirty two and doesnt) before she discovers shes pregnant. And then theres Lola Barker, who causes havoc wherever she goes, and brings a whole new meaning to the word high-maintenance. Toddlers, jelly, bad behaviour, romance and gardening tips all loom large in Gil McNeils hilarious and heartbreaking new novel. Stand By Your Man turns prejudices and assumptions upside down with humour and passion, telling it like it really is. Sometimes its hard to be a woman...

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