Room for a Stranger by Melanie Cheng
English | 2019 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 1.2 Mb
Room for a Stranger: By the winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, 2018.
Since her sister died, Meg has been on her own. She doesn’t mind, not really—not with Atticus, her African grey parrot, to keep her company—but after her house is broken into by a knife-wielding intruder, she decides it might be good to have some company after all.
Andy’s father has lost his job, and his parents’ savings are barely enough to cover his tuition. If he wants to graduate, he’ll have to give up his student flat and find a homeshare. Living with an elderly Australian woman is harder than he’d expected, though, and soon he’s struggling with more than his studies.
“As she dried herself with the towel, she took stock of the bathroom. She’d never been fussy about her appearance—she’d only painted her nails once, at Helen’s insistence, before a friend’s wedding—and yet somehow the bath and the sink were still lined with pastel-coloured bottles. Shampoo, conditioner, perfume, a tube of expired pawpaw cream her doctor had recommended for a rash. She worried that all the citrus and floral aromas would overwhelm the boy. The last man to have lived here was Meg’s father, thirty years ago. Aside from a couple of photos and his golf clubs—buried behind rolls of wrapping paper in the linen cupboard—there was not a trace of him left inside the house.
Meg sprayed some perfume on her wrists and walked, naked, to her bedroom. Ordinarily she would cover herself with a towel but—knowing nudity would soon be out of the question—today she took one last liberty. In the bedroom she put on her bra, fastening the clasp at the front before rotating it around to the back. It’d been years since she’d had anyone around to help her dress. For the most part she managed. Only once had she had to cut herself out of a skirt when a bit of fabric got caught in the zip.”