By Hilary Mantel
Alison Hart is a medium via exchange. yet her skill to speak with spirits is a torment instead of a present. at the back of her plump, smiling and bland public personality is a determined lady. Her days and nights are haunted by means of the lads she knew in her formative years, the thugs and petty criminals who preyed upon her hopeless, addled mom, Emmie. And the extra she attempts to be rid of them, the greater and nastier they develop into.
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Coup d’œil soupçonneux à Georgette. … Pourquoi la mer ? — Maman dit qu’avec les « congés payés » tout le monde peut y aller. Nous aussi, papa ? Nouveau regard lourd en direction de Georgette qui ne se dérobe pas : — Tu pourrais leur dire que tu prends des vacances, que tu veux essayer ta nouvelle voiture. — C’est que… Il en mourait d’envie. Il capitula à l’instant. On charge la Packard. Un mois de vacances. Les premières vraies vacances dans une petite villa dissimulée dans une pinède et qui donne directement sur la plage de La Baule-les-Pins.
Aussitôt, l’orchestre attaque une vieille mélodie juive. Les plus âgés, comme tante Tassia, restent un instant le regard perdu dans le vide. C’est Georgette qui a choisi ce très grand restaurant situé en bas des Champs-Elysées : difficile de trouver plus français et, donc, de faire davantage plaisir à Michel. Georgette aussi, bien sûr, aime la France, mais l’amour presque mystique que Michel porte à ce pays n’appartient qu’à lui. Les invités se pressent au buffet. Le mélange des deux familles reste très théorique.
Un quartier populaire, un quartier d’ouvriers. D’énormes usines s’y sont installées : Citroën, Panhard, la raffinerie Say, ainsi qu’une foule de petites boîtes. En outre, l’arrondissement est très pavillonnaire. Il repère une petite maison proprette, un rez-de-chaussée qui ferait une agréable salle d’attente, un jardin où fleurissent le lilas et les roses… La place d’Italie, les Gobelins, la descente vers la rue Mouffetard et le Quartier latin avec ses si nombreuses librairies. Certes, la clientèle ne roule pas sur l’or mais il n’aura pas le temps de chômer.
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel