The Girl Before You by Nicola Rayner
English | 2019 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 1.6 Mb
Late in the Day : The lives of two close-knit couples are irrevocably changed by an untimely death in the latest from Tessa Hadley, the acclaimed novelist and short story master who “recruits admirers with each book” (Hilary Mantel).Alexandr and Christine and Zachary and Lydia have been friends since they first met in their twenties. Thirty years later, Alex and Christine are spending a leisurely summer’s evening at home when they receive a call from a distraught Lydia: she is at the hospital. Zach is dead.
In the wake of this profound loss, the three friends find themselves unmoored; all agree that Zach, with his generous, grounded spirit, was the irreplaceable one they couldn’t afford to lose. Inconsolable, Lydia moves in with Alex and Christine. But instead of loss bringing them closer, the three of them find over the following months that it warps their relationships, as old entanglements and grievances rise from the past, and love and sorrow give way to anger and bitterness.
Late in the Day explores the complex webs at the center of our most intimate relationships, to expose how, beneath the seemingly dependable arrangements we make for our lives, lie infinite alternate configurations.
“He would drive up to Glasgow to find Grace, and tell her himself. Wasn’t he her godfather? Her unofficial godfather, it wasn’t a church thing. If he set out now he’d be there by early morning. — Zach will have her address written down somewhere, Lydia said. — I don’t know where. He’s always the one who knows.
Alex phoned Hannah, the gallery administrator, who’d gone to the hospital with Zachary in the ambulance. She said she’d call in to the gallery, the address must be somewhere in Zachary’s desk or on his phone, she’d text it to Alex in half an hour. Hannah’s voice was thick with crying. Alex asked her to contact everyone who knew, get them to keep it under wraps until he’d found Grace and told her. — Imagine if she found out on Facebook.
— Keep it under wraps, Christine murmured. — I can’t believe he really said that.
He paced around forcefully between the lamps, making these arrangements; the women, dazed and collapsed, were grateful to him really. He was fearless and competent, he knew what to do. He told Christine to telephone the school where he worked in the morning, explain why he wouldn’t be in. Before he left he kissed both the women, touching their faces with his fingertips in that intimate way he had. But they also knew that he was craving movement, couldn’t bear the idea of staying there in the flat with them while they mulled over this sorrow, fermenting it.”