I put my orange down and roll it around the plate. “You must have loved her very much.”
Ivan nods his head slowly. It reminds me of a child whom one asks, “Are you lost?” who is unable to answer, the admission too great to contemplate. He takes a sip of his water and then takes my hand in his. “No more than I love you.”
He should have said, “Ilove you more.” I understand that this is the deal in these situations.
Stella is an aromatherapist whose clients come to her London flat for treatment because Stella cannot step outside her building. She’s tried and fainted from a panic attack before reaching sunshine. When Ivan, the gas man, comes to work in her apartment she convinces him to stay and he moves in.
Things are going well. She has regular clients, she has her sister and nieces to visit her, George her cat to love her, and a good relationship with Ivan. At least until he shows up at the breakfast table wearing a gold bracelet with an inscription from an old flame and a new neighbor becomes too interested in George. Stella becomes paranoid about the old flame and the new neighbor. Is she just unhinged or is thre truth to her suspicions?
Stella’s jealousy leads her to ask her sister to follow Ivan and her insecurity leads her to extreme behaviour. Over the course of the week Stella finds just as many questions as answers and she feels her old, safe life slipping away.
This book is only 173 pages amd covers the span of five days. Stella is obviously a troubled woman, one that I wanted to shake a few times, but she was also a sympathetic character. The language was sparse, but beautiful and the book was a joy to read. I admit that I did not see the end coming. Which is part of my small problem with the book. The end seemed to come out of nowhere, with little warning. It felt a little off from the rest of the novel.
It was haunting and strange and I enjoyed it very much until the very end, which was a little lacking for me.
I picked this up because of the review over at Fleur Fisher reads. Sometimes I actually get around to reading books from my wishlist!