Tuesday, 11 December 2018

White Rabbit

Finished December 3
White Rabbit by Kate Phillips

This is a story of Ruth, a woman in her old age. She has been married to her second husband for many years, but still looks back with longing at her first marriage. She was widowed young, and subsequently fell in love with a man who didn't live up to her ideals, and thus came to marry her current husband.
We are placed in Ruth's life over a day, and see all her regular habits from her sleeping arrangements, to her determinedly planned outings, to her predetermined meals. We see her relationship with her granddaughter Karen, her husband Henry, her cleaner Luzma and her young son Luis, neighbours, acquaintances, and random strangers she meets.
The book often ventures into the past, looking at Ruth's younger life, her mother Elizabeth, her first husband Hale, and her early friendships.
This is a book of relationships, of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and about growing old. A very interesting read.
The white rabbit of the title is a family game Ruth plays, with everyone she knows trying to say the phrase before Ruth does. It also comes up again in other ways as the book progresses.

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