Lodge presents to his readers an intelligent and humorous novel set in an early 1980's Great Britain adjusting to, if not reeling from, the era's Thatcherite reforms. The book's two main protagonists are Vic Wilcox, a business-minded plant manager in the fictional industrial town of Rummidge, and Dr. Robyn Penrose, a college lecturer and feminist deconstructionist at the local liberal arts college. The characters are opposites in each and every aspect of their lives: from family of origin, to type of education, to goals, priorites, tastes in food, pets, and even automobiles. Lodge takes great pains to trace their divergent paths and preferences until the two seridipitously meet through a government plan to bring together academics, who see little use for the polluting and exploiting industrialists, and the business leaders, who conversely see little need for the ivory-tower-produce-nothing-really-useful academics. With smart humor and delicious tension the author weaves a delightful story as Vic and Robyn spar over ideological differences as well as personal preferences. But eventually the government plan's goal is achieved as they both begin to acknowledge and understand the other's point of view. Without spoiling the novel for you, late in the story there are some unexpected plot twists as well as an interesting resolution and conclusion. Definitely a good read.