Book Beginnings – 2nd July 2021

Book beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and it is a chance to share the first sentence or so of a book you’ve reading, about to read or recently read.

The book I’d like to share this week is Love Life by Nancy Peach. It isn’t one I’m going to read anytime soon due to the sheer volume on my TBR but it certainly sounded interesting so I wanted to share.

It is a truth seldom acknowledged but nonetheless unassailable, that there are few moments more pivotal in the life of a young woman than finding her boyfriend in bed with someone else. Particularly when that someone happens to be another man. Occasionally, the voice narrating segments of Tess ’s life had a pleasing Regency tone, a genteel feminine inflection evoking Royal Baths, Pump Rooms and leafy Georgian squares. Having Jane Austen describe her past and plot her future course would have been Tess’s preference, she thought as she wandered the supermarket aisle and chose a large tub of ice cream from the freezer cabinet. It would have been reassuring to know that whatever other calamities may befall her, they would be dealt with in a sturdy, prosaic fashion, perhaps accompanied by an avuncular vicar or an elegant great-aunt swathed in crinoline. Unfortunately, her usual commentator was the oleaginous daytime television host, he of the orange tan and the crocodile smile of preposterous whiteness, he of the paternity test results revealed in front of a live studio audience. It was this man, whose blokey, jocular, mansplaining voice was most often in her ear. And rightly so, Tess told herself as she pulled a multipack of biscuits and two large slabs of chocolate into her basket and made her way to the checkout; rightly so. Because his was the most appropriate voice to document her coup de grâce. It was after all a storyline worthy of a bad soap opera or a tabloid front page, and he was an experienced commentator in this field, far more so than dear Miss Austen, who might have balked at the finer details.

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