this book is all the sibilants: subtle, suggestive, sensual, sensory. at its most reductive “it’s about this”-ness, it is the story of a woman who gets up in the middle of the night to bake a cake, leaving a new lover sleeping peacefully in her bed while she passes the pre-dawn hours thinking about her brief marriage to a man who killed himself, unpacking her memories of their relationship, searching for clues.
it’s only 115 pages, but there’s a lot going on. but just as much not going on so much as lurking in the background in an ambiguous ‘maybe you see me and maybe you don’t and whaddya gonna make of me?’ kind of way, leaving the reader to connect their own dots.
it very authentically mimics those late-night moods, where thought flits to thought and emotions reshape the past in a relationship’s post-mortem; this woman sorting through the hundreds of nagging memories and suspicions that have been plaguing her for years – all the frustratingly unanswered questions you cannot pose to the dead preventing her from full engagement in life.
it’s brief, but affecting, and her prose is a master class in lyrical restraint.