Something is out there in the darkness, killing their animals.
But is it real or is it something that their haunted, guilty memories have created?
This book is written with lyrical beauty. Stunning.
I don't know if my selection of lines has properly done justice to the power of the writing but:
- “He set off, but something stopped him still as a stump. Between the trees he saw something. A movement. A silhouette. It was travelling. Loping, that was the word that came to him. He squinted ... The shadow seemed to stop, slip sideways between apple rows. And then there was nothing.” (p 6)
- “The car left in the only direction it could - away.” (p 8)
- “she rested her low, full belly against the windowsill in the front room and felt the baby slip and kick inside her.” (p 9)
- “Out in the dark she saw the anaemic cheek of a full moon rising from the forest.” (p 9)
- “And then everything crumbled and went the taste of shit in her mouth, the taste of blotting paper.” (p 10)
- “you could tell Ida had ideas for later when she cooked pork, but after nearly forty years of falling for it every time, a man has to pretend he doesn't know when he's being seduced.” (p 13)
- “I should have taken Ida out of this valley thirty years ago and never come back. To spare her the hardships, the hidden things, this night.” (p 15)
- “Was he having everyone's recollections, was it history that tormented him?” (p 17)
- “Oh, how the clink of knife and fork spoke its own language.” (p 27)
- “When are the continents begin to shift in you, you can't tell tomorrow from yesterday, you run just like that herd of pigs, over the cliff and into the water.” (p 34)
- “The Sink is the kind of place that always failed to deliver.” (p 36)
- “The rich think everybody's rich. That's their sin, forgetfulness.” (p 37)
- “The pain would be like a hand clamping down on her skull and she could almost feel fingers creeping in under her scalp going hot and cold in waves that made her too frightened to move her eyes.” (p 59)
- “The night is full of stories. They float up like miasmas, as though the dead leave their dreams in the Earth where you bury them, only to have them rise to meet you in sleep.” (p 73)
- “She was as silly as a wheel.” (p 79)
- “Run a farm? You couldn't run a bloody tap” (p 86)
- “The drip of sagging gutters.” (p 94)
How have I never heard of this writer before? I must read more!
November 2017; 110 pages