A Reliable Wife
A NoveleBook - 2010
From the critics
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A new quiet had entered into the way they treated each other, a simplicity of manner. It was, Catherine supposed, love. It was what normal people had when passion had run its course.
She had been adept at the beginning and the end of things, and now she saw that whatever pleasures life had to offer lay in the middle.
She reached an age when, all of a sudden, she realized that the life she was living was, in fact her life.
So much had to happen in the middle... She didn't trust the middle.
In the middle, things always happened you hadn't planned on, and it was these things, the possibility of these things that haunted and troubled her
It was the middles that gave her pause. The beginnings were sweet, the endings usually bitter, but the middles were only the tightrope you walked between the one and the other. No more than that.
Catherine Land sat in front of the mirror unbecoming all that she had become. The years had hardened her beyond mercy.
He wanted her teeth to bite him. To leave marks in his back, his legs. He wanted her hair to strangle him. He wanted her to tell him that his touch would not kill her. He wanted to slice her open and lie inside the warm blood of her body...He wanted the moment at which he finally lay naked against her, chest to chest, her hand fluttering above his shoulders like white birds in the chill night, her frantic fingers threading invisible needles.
He made no apologies. He never tilted his head in sentimentality, or paused for her approval or her sympathy, and she never turned her eyes from his, never wandered around the room or shuffled her feet or asked for a glass of water. She just listened. It was a life he told her, entire, flawed, scarred with indulgence and self-laceration, but brave, it seemed to her, courageous at the same time.
"You see, thought Catherine, sooner or later, everything gets a fresh start. It's not just possible. It happens."
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