Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro
It’s the finest department store in the city,” she maintained. “I’d rather mop floors there than anywhere else.” She could endure anything but failure.
Stubbornness is another trait we share.
She still wore the plain, slim gold band her husband had given her on her wedding ring finger, not just as a reminder but also as a safeguard against unwanted male attention.
“Your father would’ve been proud of you, Maeve, getting your secretarial degree.” She took a final drag from her cigarette, stubbed the end out in the sink.
I looked down. “Oh, I don’t know about that.”
“Well, I do.”
All my life, she’d been a medium between this world and the next, advising on what my father would’ve wanted, believed in, admired.
“He had everything it took to really be someone in this world— intelligence, breeding, a good education. Everything, that is, except luck. I just hope yours is better than his.” She sighed.
“What do you mean?”
“Nothing. You’re a clever girl. A capable girl.” Leaning in, she scrubbed the coffee stains out of the sink. “It’s just a shame you lost that job in New York.”
A knot of guilt and apprehension tightened in my stomach. This was the last thing I wanted to talk about. “Let’s not go into that.”
But Ma was never one to let a subject die an easy death if she could kick it around the room a few more times.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” she went on, ignoring me. “Why did Mr. Halliday let you go after all that time?”
“I told you, he’s traveling.”
“Yes, but why didn’t he just take you with him, like he did before? Remember that? You gave me the fright of my life! I didn’t get a letter from you for almost six weeks!”
It was if she knew the truth and was torturing me, the way a cat swats around a half- dead mouse. I glared at her. “Jeez, Ma! How would I know?”
“It just doesn’t make sense. You’ve been his private secretary for almost a year, and then, out of the blue, you’re suddenly out of work and back in Boston!”
“Well, at least I’m home. Aren’t you glad about that?”
She gave a halfhearted shrug. “I’d rather have you make some-thing of yourself. You were on your way in New York. Now you’ll have to start all over again.” Scooping some porridge into a bowl, she set it down in front of me. “I’ll hang the gray suit in your room.”
I gnawed at my thumbnail. I didn’t want porridge or the suit. The only thing I wanted now was to crawl back into bed and disappear.
She gave my hand a smack. “What are you doing? You’ll ruin your nails! Don’t worry so much. With your training and experience, you’re practically a shoo- in.”
I prodded the porridge with my spoon.
If only my experience in New York was what she thought it was.
I am reading Rare Objects at the moment and I am completely in love with this book. It’s brilliant and I am racing through; it’s fascinating, compelling and turning out to be a cracking good read! The lovely people at HarperCollins are offering a copy to one lucky reader of my blog. To be in with a chance of winning click HERE to be taken to the rafflecopter page. Good Luck! *Uk only. *Closes 11/5.