David is a museum curator with a penchant for collecting things. Each chapter begins with a personal memento from which a detailed story unfolds. Although the novel doesn't follow a strict chronological order, this lyrical account of ordinary people struggling with the trials and tribulations of day-to-day living is easy to follow. It won't appeal to readers who like their characters to be extraordinary or exciting - but if you're interested in history and the intimacy of everyday life, it might just appeal to you.
You'll be careful with it though? Susan said, later, when he asked if he could borrow the picture for a while. She unclipped it from its frame and handed it over to him, and he told her that yes, of course, he'd be careful. And, I mean, are you sure this is a good idea? she asked, the whole thing? and he told her that yes, thank you, it was.