I picked up Circles of deceit by Nina Bawden from the library withdrawals for 20p a while ago - definitely good value for a book! It took me a little while to get around to reading it, and I'm glad that I didn't hurry to read it as although it was an interesting read, I didn't enjoy it as much as many of her other books.
Like Bawden's other novels, it is essentially a story about ordinary people and ordinary every day life. We learn about people close to the narrator, such as his ex wife Helen, his Aunt Maud, his new, rather flaky, girlfriend Clio and her son Barnaby, and his schizophrenic son Tim. All of these characters are intertwined into the narrator's life. I found that the thread of the story was a little difficult to follow as it was broken up into chapters about each of those people, and at the same time I wanted to know more about the narrator rather than the narrator in relationship to these people.
I was a little surprised to learn that this was shortlisted for the Booker in 1987. It is an accomplished novel but I certainly think that some of her other books are better.
Two VMC covers; my copy is the later one.