Don't forget to drop by Bibliophile By the Sea and read Diane's selection this week and be sure to visit and read the contributions of other participants in this terrific meme who can be found in the comments!
Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty
Muscle has memory; the body knows things the mind won’t admit. Two police officers were at my door - uniformed, arranged - yet even as the door swung open upon them, which was surely the moment that I knew, even then, my conscious self was seeking other explanations, turning around and around, like a rat in a cage. Muscle memory - not the same thing as instinct, of course, but related: pianists know about this, and tap dancers, and anyone who has ever given birth. Even those who have never done anything more physical than toe their shoelaces know it. The body is quicker than the mind. The body can be trusted.What are your thoughts about these paragraphs? Would you read this book based on these paragraphs?
It has taken them longer than it should have to come to my house with the news. Betty was not carrying any form of identification. When this policewoman explains this she does so gently, neutrally, but I choose to hear criticism. I am sitting on my sofa, perched on the edge. The gas fire is on. On the carpet before me a magazine from the previous weekend’s newspapers lies open where I left it - I was reading it this morning, crouched before the fire. The more junior of the officers, a young man, thin and pale, is standing by the door. The woman in charge - older, blonde - has sat down next to me but her body is half-turned to face me. I have invited them in I have asked this news across my threshold.
I am trying to understand what they are telling me, the larger picture, but I seize upon a detail. They weren’t carrying identification. They. She was with her friend Willow. Willow and Betty. “She’s nine,” I say.