Ned and Nina are trying to conceive, so when Ned jets off with no notice to the funeral of Douglas, a mysterious friend from his student days, Nina follows him so they can have sex on time. Douglas was the ringleader of a fellowship of chums at NYU and Nina is baffled by the extraordinary hold the group - and Douglas in particular - have on Ned. The novel explores the reconfiguring and reappraisal of the clique following Douglas's tragic death. Subtle Bodies asks why we make the friends we do, why we keep them and how we make sense of our personal histories. It is a wise, funny and keenly observed portrayal of shifting relationships and new truths emerging from old certainties. Like all of Rush's work it embodies the dictum 'fiction is truth told excessively and beautifully'. It is a warm-hearted and pitch-perfect master class in the art of the novel.