Richard, our main protagonist, works in advertising and his boss doesn't appreciate him; he lives in London with Renate, a dreadful, domineering woman who runs his life for him and she doesn't appreciate him either. Richard is unhappy and unfulfilled; but then he meets Sarah at an art gallery and they fall in love with each other and decide to make a new start.
For their fresh, new start they leave London and relocate to Hay Cottage, in Worth, Suffolk. Richard gives up his job in advertising to become a free-lance illustrator and Sarah resigns from her job as a lawyer to work for a charity for homeless people. They make friends with village stalwarts, Keith and Margaret, who are so entirely different from them that you know the friendship will falter, as indeed it does over an amusing meal of beetroot pasta: "Even though Keith knew pasta was coming, it surprised him... He peered inside his pasta in the hope of seeing breasts, legs, wings, livers, kidneys, a heart. Anything he thought of as food." The meal ends rather abruptly when Keith utters an off-colour remark that makes Richard and Sarah realize how small minded and parochial both Keith and Margaret are, and it is not just the meal that ends prematurely, but their friendship also.
Now practically friendless in the village, Richard and Sarah, whose cottage is too small to accommodate visting friends from London, start to 'reverse commute' to London for their weekends. However, after several amusing, but difficult and tiring weekend trips, they realize how unsatisfactory this is. So, when a new neighbour, Catherine, moves into the cottage next door to them and they see she is sophisticated, intelligent and amusing (she passes the beetroot pasta test with flying colours) both Richard and Sarah feel they have found the friend they are looking for. Or at least they think they have - for Catherine may not be quite what she seems....
This is an amusing read - not necessarily laugh out loud funny - but rather satirical and while it may sound like your average 'move to the country novel' - it isn't. Jon Canter has written a book about love, sex, friendship, family - it's a story of modern life. And amongst the humour, there are moments of genuine pathos. If you want an amusing, diverting and entertaining read and you want something that doesn't take life too seriously, then 'Worth' might well be what you are looking for - it's not a great literary novel, but then we don't always want that, do we?