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The Finest Type of English Womanhood

by Rachel Heath

A fascinating story based on a real murder which took place just after the war. The insights into post war life both in England and South Africa are like a mirror reflecting an England that I almost remember. This portrait of a relationship between two unlikely companions, young women who meet almost by accident, had me gripped from beginning to end.

Extract

Was it that night that I saw it for the first time? Sitting on the scratchy chair, my head throbbing and my arms burnt and blistered from the sun. I think it might have been. The loud radio, Robert’s careful questions and Bridget’s nervousness; it hit me like a blast of cold air: Bridget and Robert were frightened of Paul. The ‘unsaid’ in that house was all to do with Paul, and me of course, in some small way, so they circled us, Robert more than Bridget, trying to find things out. There was history, complicated family history, and I was not fit to navigate it with any ease or success, I was sickly, dizzy and homesick, made insecure by Paul’s distance, by how shadowy he had become – I needed to know about his ‘interests’, what he did in his bedroom each day – and by Robert and Bridget, by the way the ground under my feet seemed always to be spinning.

Parallels

Nella Last’s War by Richard Broad and Suzie Flemming (eds)
No Highway by Nevil Shute
 

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