Most normal parents, you'd think, would be pleased to have a son not yet thirty and earning ninety grand a year. But not Doro and Marcus. They'd consider it the ultimate betrayal of his ideals, meaning their ideals, because Serge doesn't claim to have any ideals apart from a vague general sense of goodwill towards mankind. And womankind. Especially Maroushka.
Marcus and Doro were part of a left wing commune from the late 1960s until the early 1990s: lentils, free love, spliffs, Left politics, cheesecloth blouses, sex, housework and cooking rotas, crochet, allotments. Their children have grown up rather different from them: primary schoolteacher Clara craves order and clean bathrooms, son Serge is pretending to his parents that he is still doing a Maths PhD at Cambridge, while in fact working making loadsa money in the City; third child Oolie Anna, who has Downs Syndrome, is desperate to escape home and live on her own.