THE BOOK PAGES
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The loganberries are nearly over. As she picks the soft crimson fruit, sun-
‘I know you’re there,’ she says. ‘You’ve been helping yourself, haven’t you?’
She drops the berries into a wine glass, which also contains a few sweet peas, straightens up and looks out across the roof-
Evie sits down at the table, smiling with pleasure, reaching to run her fingers through the tall spikes of purple-
As their son Charlie was growing up Marianne became busier than ever, organizing his social life, entertaining his friends. More and more Tommy found that he was travelling down to Dartmouth alone.
Sitting at the table on the terrace on this late August evening, Evie thinks of him: tall, lean, black hair, brown eyes. She first met him in the road outside the house as she climbed up the steep flights of steps from the converted boathouse that she was planning to buy. She reached the pavement, paused to catch her breath, and saw him coming out of the elegant town-
Look,・she said, beckoning him across the street, leaning over the wall so as to point down to where the small, newly converted boathouse stood at the river’s edge, poised above it, full of water-
‘Gosh!’ he said, eager as a boy – the darling fellow – entering into her joy. Good for you! So we’ll be neighbours.’
‘Do you live there?’ She nodded across the road towards the Merchant’s House, impressed – and more than that, heart-
‘In London mostly,’ he said ruefully. Dartmouth whenever I can. My wife gets bored very quickly here, and she’s not a sailor. I love it, though.’
Oh, damn, she thought. A wife. Oh, well . . .