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The World Without Us

by Mireille Juchau

If you want to read about a community that is completely messed up, this is the book for you. One act, the birth of a child, has a profound effect upon the whole neighbourhood. It is like a pebble being thrown into a lake, sending ripples to all sides. This is because there is a secret about the birth of this child, which is not really a secret, especially not to those who made it a secret. This story is about consequences.

Extract

Sometimes your mother stayed over in the ward. You could make this type of bed from a lounge chair. Your father packed the morning lunches and laid out school clothes. Washed, dirty, did it matter? You had odd socks and inside-out shirts because of stains. You had butter sandwiches for ten days. You had dinners left by other people at the house. Your father served them in their weird flower crockery. Sago and macaroni cheese. Pumpkin soup and strawberry sponge. Everything soft, so your father said, 'They think already that the Mullers have forgotten how to masticate.' There was food from Nora especially, and you weren't to tell your mother but this always tasted best.

Parallels

Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty
The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam
The Secret Lives of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
 

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