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Sleep With Me

by Joanna Briscoe

This is a very sinister tale of a relationship attacked on both sides by another woman. Neither party realises what is going on, which creates an atmosphere of chilling suspense from beginning to end. The plot unfolds in accounts from both Richard and Lelia and is a compelling and fascinating insight into how differently men and women feel about sex, marriage and children. The evocation of London, in all seasons, provides a very powerful backdrop.

Extract

We stumbled through the tree-lit flat barely dressed. We argued idly, for the sake of it, and sat on the floor watching Christmas films beneath an outspread dressing-gown. Lelia sat rapt and happy through girlhood chick flicks - Little Women, National Velvet, The Railway Children - sobbing amidst embarrassed laughter at returning fathers and precocious triumphs, before we entered the darkening day in search of late Chinese lunch, or coffee in cheap, steaming cafes. I knew then that I loved it, that seamless round of laziness scented with pine needles; yet a habitual tumour of anxiety located in my stomach spread its tendrils through me to prevent pure happiness, and I was aware that I wasn't enjoying it quite as much as I'd think I had later, when nostalgia imbued memory with less complicated loveliness.

Parallels

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
Something Might Happen by Julie Myerson
 

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