The Accidental Woman

By Jonathan Coe

Detached via selection, indecisive through nature, Maria ploughs her method via fifteen years of womanhood, not able to determine what the entire fuss is set. Will she ever manage to direct the process her personal existence, or will it finish because it started - unintentionally? Jonathan Coe's first novel, which brought a superb new expertise to English fiction.

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She knew that if Stephen ever discovered approximately this behaviour, he could reflect on it incomprehensible, and can cease loving her, or could by no means begin loving her, or may perhaps even cease liking her. convinced, may well even cease liking her. yet that didn’t cease her doing it. there has been one time which saved coming again to her, as she sat ready outdoor his university that sizzling afternoon, it got here again to her in fragments, glimpses insistent in shape and personality, constantly an analogous, yet this isn't how I shall narrate it. It have been one other hot afternoon, uncomfortably hot, yet worthy it for the stunning cool into which she had stepped once she entered the chapel. She walked softly, her sneakers echoing at the slabs, and sat overlooked on the finish of a pew, rows from the again. The chapel was once empty, apart from the organ loft, the place Stephen and his track instructor have been having a lesson. Maria knew that Stephen had an organ lesson at present within the afternoon, and had come to the chapel for this very cause, to hear him as he performed. It was once the 1st time she had ever performed so, and in addition the final, the reminiscence being, so far as she may possibly see, extra vital than the adventure. It, the reminiscence, got here to tackle a unusual texture, composed mostly finally of visible instead of aural components. Even now she felt a shudder, maybe of enjoyment, maybe of soreness, on the considered the scene as her mind’s and her remembrance’s eye had among them framed it, the faded sparkling tetragon of sun at the slabs, the shaft of sun connecting this determine to her nearest window, the dustclouds dancing earlier than her, the coloration round, and the delicate, insistent tune, to which Maria hardly ever listened, at the least in her traditional manner, yet which would have spoken to her of regretful popularity, if she have been drawn to that kind of conjecture. Now: irony arising. The song, so far as Maria was once involved, was once Stephen’s. It used to be he who made it, and stuffed the chapel with it, it used to be he on my own who used to be humanly accountable for the sound of these moments, for the sound which her international made, in different phrases, in the course of that point. This was once how she cherished to examine it, and this used to be on the center of all that day’s worthy. yet to inform the reality, by no means a nasty factor to do sometimes even in a unique, it had now not been Stephen taking part in the organ in any respect, during this example, for his instructor, exasperated past degree via the hopelessness of his functionality, had taken over and performed the entire prelude with out preventing, as an indication of ways it may be performed. Maria didn't understand this. yet her faulty reminiscence intended even more to her than our wisdom of the evidence can ever suggest to us, so we needn’t think greater. because it used to be now drawing close the top in their time at Oxford, issues have been getting determined, from Ronny’s perspective. None of his proposals of marriage had but acquired a beneficial reaction, besides the fact that he had elevated their supply to the speed of 1 an afternoon. He had, in fact, figured out approximately Stephen. Ever considering that making the invention, approximately six weeks in the past, he were the sufferer of an insane jealousy.

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