Ava, newly arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, spends her days teaching English to rich children. Julian is a banker. A banker who likes to spend money on Ava, to have sex and discuss fluctuating currencies with her. But when she asks whether he loves her, he cannot say more than ‘I like you a great deal’. Enter Edith, a lawyer. Refreshingly enthusiastic and unapologetically earnest, Edith takes Ava to the theatre when Julian leaves Hong Kong for work. Quickly, she becomes something Ava looks forward to. And then Julian writes to tell Ava he is coming back to Hong Kong. Should Ava return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with Edith?
‘The book of the summer … Kept me rapt until the final page‘ THE TIMES
‘A sharp, smart, witty modern love story. I loved it‘ David Nicholls, author of ONE DAY
‘More than lives up to the hype … Likely to fill the Sally-Rooney-shaped hole in many readers’ lives‘ IRISH TIMES
‘Droll, shrewd and unafraid – a winning debut‘ Hilary Mantel, author of WOLF HALL
‘I’ve been pushing Exciting Times on everyone I know. Some of Dolan’s pithy observations of her characters are the best I’ve read since Edward St Aubyn‘ OBSERVER
‘A frankly sensational book‘ Pandora Sykes on THE HIGH LOW
‘In the tradition of Dorothy Parker, Joan Rivers and Nora Ephron … I found myself purring with pleasure. …This is comic writing at the highest level’ Craig Brown, DAILY MAIL
When you leave Ireland aged 22 to spend your parents’ money, it’s called a gap year. When Ava leaves Ireland aged 22 to make her own money, she’s not sure what to call it, but it involves:
– a badly-paid job in Hong Kong, teaching English grammar to rich children;
– Julian, who likes to spend money on Ava and lets her move into his guest room;
– Edith, who Ava meets while Julian is out of town and actually listens to her when she talks;
– money, love, cynicism, unspoken feelings and unlikely connections.
Exciting times ensue.
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