Sunday, May 19, 2019

the last book I ever read (Late in the Day: A Novel by Tessa Hadley, excerpt one)

from Late in the Day: A Novel by Tessa Hadley:

Afterwards she said she’d known, as soon as she opened her eyes and saw his face. – You should see your face, Alex. It’s a giveaway. And of course if anyone else had died, Dad would have to come to tell me.

In the car on the way home, she kept her little rucksack on her knee and was distinctively herself: looking round her out the window, taking everything in, questioning him sensibly about what had happened. He repeated to her all the detail that was becoming mythic, about Jane Ogden’s new show, Zachary keeling over in the gallery, hitting his head on the desk. – But why, but why? Grace said, staring straight ahead through the windscreen, rocking backwards and forwards just perceptibly in a childish rhythm, hugging the rucksack that she wouldn’t put down on the back seat, or on the floor. At some point she announced that she was starving, and they stopped at a motorway service station. She ate something disgusting, with every sign of a hearty appetite – a full English breakfast; and then shortly afterwards, when they were on the motorway again, he had to pull over quickly onto the hard shoulder. She jumped out of the car and vomited into the tall grass full of daisies, which was blowing in sensuous long ripples in the wind.

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