Sally McGinley is a struggling young playwright; Greg Burns is a middle-aged actor whose career and family life have grown stale. Both are looking for something that will give their lives a sense of adventure. When Sally is commissioned to write a play for a top director in the West End, and Greg is cast as the male lead, they plunge into a reckless affair that seems to promise an escape into fantasy. Then Sally makes a discovery that brings them face to face with real life again, and reminds them that it doesn't guarantee happy endings. This is a novel of sharp insight, written with warmth, wit and compelling honesty. 'Real' is a brilliant portrait of modern illusions about love.