A woman’s note has been found in a charity shop copy of a novel about a husband’s double life, which laments her “b—–d” partner’s “recreational relationships”.
The scathing handwritten message had been slotted inside a second-hand copy of The Best A Man Can Get by John O’Farrell, which was on sale in an Age UK shop in York.
It is written by a woman called Sarah, who berates her boyfriend or husband, Chris, for leaving her to bring up their children while he enjoys affairs away from home.
Her depiction of Chris mirrors almost identically the wayward protagonist of O’Farrell’s book, whose secret double life is eventually exposed.
It is unclear if it was Sarah or Chris who donated the book to the charity shop, or if Chris ever found the note inside it, which reads: “Chris, is this what you thought you could do with me? Lead a double life with your so-called ‘recreational relationships’.
“Leaving me completely unaware, bringing up our children, and thinking you were just a workaholic and that’s why you were away from home so much.
“What a b—–d you have been to me. Sarah.”
O’Farrell, who has written for the programmes Spitting Image and Have I Got News for You, has since commented on the mysterious note.
“I think Sarah’s plan was ‘Chris will read this note and this book and then feel shame’ and Chris just thought ‘Oh, she gave me a book. Well, that can go straight to the charity shop’,” he said.
The Best A Man Can Get follows the darkly comic journey of Michael Adams, who is living a double life.
He shares a secret flat with three other men in their late twenties. They spend their days lying in bed and playing computer games. Occasionally, he travels a few miles back to his unsuspecting wife and children.
He tells her he had to work long hours or travel on business, all the while enjoying a bachelor lifestyle to escape the challenges of parenthood.
His deception is eventually exposed.
O’Farrell added: “I had the double life idea for that book as a sort of metaphor for how fathers of young kids are suddenly very busy at work when babies come along. But it seems like someone was doing it literally!”