You may love Eric - or want to shake him! Passionately idealistic about his work as a librarian, and his mission to extend literacy and literature into the wider community, he's also ruefully aware that he's not exactly Superman. Forced to hide his mysterious background and mortifying fears, he's a man with secrets - withheld even from close friends. His once homely wife, now a fashionista, has abandoned him, to live in Seattle with a high-powered corporate kingpin; taking their only child, a moody minx-in-waiting, about to turn thirteen.Yet, against the odds, Eric sets out to prove himself - indeed, even to find a soul-mate. Whether braving 'Choco-love' Speed-Dating (chocolates provided, but is he a hard nut or a melting cream?); running Wandsworth Prison Book Club; attending an American Church that champions the Gospel of Prosperity, or rescuing his daughter from near-rape - he finally comes to epitomize the truth of Hemingway's words: 'The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.'Perriam's 22nd publication - and first novel in eight years - tackles challenging subjects in humorous mode; combining laugh-out-loud comedy with an analysis of fear, recognized by doctors and philosophers as far back as Hippocrates as one of the most fundamental of human emotions. It also explores the often shocking world of children growing up in care. Whether examining 'broken places', such as children's homes and prisons, or depicting the hilarious snarls of internet dating and the euphoric angst of love, Broken Places provides a powerful and rewarding read.