Joanna Kavenna

“Worst of all, Patrick kept praising her; he said he didn't know how she managed it all. He was trying to encourage her, though it made her feel alone, too, that her experience was untranslatable, obscure to him. He did not perceive that she was half-mad with fatigue, and yet she rose each day and knew she must play her part, she must be a mother to her son, she must be measured with him, never raise her voice to him, even when her blood was curdling with frustration. Yet often she felt so happy, so overwhelmed with love - everything was incoherent and ragged and she could not explain it to Patrick; she mostly blamed him when things were hard. She wanted him to experience it, too - the relentlessness, how it did not end, and you could never rest, how it was beautiful and it smashed you to pieces at the same time - but he usually came home after Calumn was in bed, found her collapsed and monosyllabic on the sofa. She told herself each day she must remember he was a wonderful father, a wonderful husband, this would soon be over - then everything got clouded, this chemical exhaustion took hold of her, and she slipped again.”

Joanna Kavenna, The Birth of Love
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The Birth of Love The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna
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