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304 pages, Hardcover
First published February 5, 2009
When he has gone, Ruth sits on the sofa, at the opposite end to the place where there is a faint bloodstain on the faded chintz. She looks at the remains of her meal with Shona and wonders, dully, how long ago it was that they sat at this table talking about men.(p126, US hardcover edition)
"What I'm afraid of," says Delilah suddenly in a high, strained voice, "is that one day someone asks me how many children I have and I say four, not five. Because than I'll know that it's over, that she's dead."
Ruth . . . stares unseeingly into the steamy mirror. She knows what she will see . . . . Shoulder-length brown hair, blue eyes, pale skin—and however she stands on the scales, which are at present banished to the broom cupboard—she weighs twelve and a half stone.