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Whatever You Love

by Louise Doughty

Many novels are constructed round the consequences of bereavement. This novel follows one of these consequences - the desire for revenge - to what seems to be its logical conclusion. But is it? The novel is told in the first person with total honesty and moves back and forward from before to after the the tragedy The relationships and social tensions in a small town are realistically conveyed. Harrowing but compulsive reading.

Extract

I nod, and the nod releases what has been waiting for hours behind the dam of my face - a tidal wave of tears. The tipping point has come. My mind and body work in concert at last. I reach out to touch her. The policewoman does not prevent me. I curl my hand so I can use the backs of my fingers to stroke her temple, the way I always do when she is most hurt or upset. 'Betty...Betty...' I say, and I sob and sob as I stroke her temple, oh so softly, and my knees give way and the policewoman is holding me up and the sound of my crying fills the room, the air, the world beyond.

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