Truth and Consequences by Alison Lurie Penguin, HK$109 When Jane Mackenzie notices a fat, ageing man with slumped shoulders getting out of a taxi one day, she has difficulty recognising him to be Alan, her husband of 16 years. Thus begins Alison Lurie's predictable yet profound novel, Truth and Consequences, which picks apart marriage to expose human nature as it can be: capricious, selfish and needy. Before Alan injured his back showing off in volleyball, theirs was an envied partnership especially among colleagues at Corinth University, where he's an architectural historian and she an administrator at the Centre for the Humanities. However, years of pain have made him a grouch and her resentful of living life around his suffering. Then the beautiful, manipulative author Delia Delaney and her husband Henry arrive at Corinth. A popular writer of adult fairy tales and chronic migraine sufferer, Delia has Alan forgetting about his problems in his eagerness to please her. While the two are otherwise occupied, their care-giving spouses find common ground of their own. Lurie's writing flows effortlessly - a fulfilling read.