Arrow, 1999

Belinda Nield knows what she wants. She wants Tony Lamb, a beautiful but silent stranger who has been foisted on the school where she teaches for the duration of the summer play. But she isn’t the only one who wants him. Her teenage pupils are also madly in love with Tony, which leads Belinda to formulate a plan for emotional survival that brings only far deeper trouble. Meanwhile the principal and his wife are making lewd passes at the music teacher and rehearsals for the play begin before the script has even been written: it’s time to get a grip.

Exploring the darker and lighter sides of love, Gripless is a wicked tale of lust, love, laughter and lies, of wanting everything and learning nothing.

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‘A fantastic modern British farce, with devilish humour and a fresh take on the idea of romance’ The Scotsman

‘Sophie Hannah’s writing is sharp, and her observations about the strength, illogicality and frequent madness of love and its effects on real life are by turns both wittily and acerbically true.’ Books and Company