Tuesday 26 March 2019

Some things you've got to stop thinking about

A Kind of Intimacy Annie Fairhurst wants to start a new life. When A Kind of Intimacy opens, she is dancing naked around the home she is leaving, kicking the sofa she has always hated. You might think her reaction a bit strange, but in the circumstances, understandable. How did she put up with the hated sofa for so long? "What starts off as intolerable, [-] eventually becomes merely irritating and in time, in a matter of months or years, you become immune to it. You've got to, haven't you? Some things you've got to stop thinking about, or you'd never survive." Annie gradually reveals throughout the rest of the book what it is she has to stop thinking about.

Annie's awkward attempts to make friends of her new neighbours are sad and funny. You can see how she might take a dislike to Lucy next door, who makes derogatory comments about Annie's knickers "on the line: like bloody parachutes." With anger management problems and an inability to read friendly signals, Annie see-saws between absolutely terrifying and painfully embarrassing. I often wished I could put my hand over my eyes and read through my fingers.

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