Hilarious, dark, and thoroughly entertaining, Getting a Life proves Helen Simpson to be one of the finest observers of women on the edge. Set in and around contemporary London, these nine stories explore both the blisses and irritations of domestic life.
An ambitious teenager vows never to settle for any of the adult lives she sees around her. Two old friends get tipsy at a small cafe and end up revealing more than they intended. In a boutique so exclusive that entrance requires a password, a frazzled careerwoman explores the anesthetizing effect of highly impractical clothing. And in the mesmerizing title story, a mother of three takes life one day at a time, while pushing the ominous question of whether she wants to firmly to one side.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Getting a Life|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Getting a Life|
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Getting a Life
Chapter OneGOLDEN APPLES
Jade Beaumont was technically up in her bedroom revising for the exams which were now only weeks away. Her school gave them study days at home, after lectures on trust and idleness. She was supposed to be sorting out the differences between Wordsworth and Coleridge at the moment.
Down along the suburban pleasantness of Miniver Road the pavements were shaded by fruit trees, and the front gardens of the little Edwardian villas smiled back at her with early lilac, bushes of crimson flowering currant and the myopic blue dazzle of forget-me-nots. She felt light on her feet and clever, like a cat, snuffing the air, pinching a pungent currant leaf.
There was a belief held by Jade's set that the earlier you hardened yourself off and bared your skin, the more lasting the eventual tan; and so she had that morning pulled on a brief white skirt and T-shirt. She was on her way to an interview for a holiday job at the garden center. Summer! She couldn't wait. The morning was fair but chilly and the white-gold hairs on her arms and legs stood up and curved to form an invisible reticulation, trapping a layer of warm air a good centimeter deep.
I may not hope from outward forms to win The passion and the life, whose fountains are within.
That was cool, but Coleridge was a minefield. Just when you thought he'd said something really brilliant, he went raving off full steam ahead into nothingness. He was a nightmare to write about. Anyway, she herself found outward forms utterly absorbing, the color of clothes, the texture of skin, the smell of food and flowers. She couldn't see the point of extrapolation. Keats...