Super thrilled, A Good Wife has now been released. Below is a short excerpt to tease and entice you to read further.
Gloria pulled a length of wool from beneath her arm, letting her eyes linger over the unopened lemon creams in her underwear drawer.
She placed her phone on the polished chest of drawers. “Georgie, are you having me on?” she said, selecting the loudspeaker functionality that would free her hands to crochet lilac loops. As a rule, she didn’t do handiwork. Her intention, though, was to distract herself from eating. Her waistline had thickened in the past ten years, and with mere months before turning sixty, she wasn’t about to give in to her body’s wish to explode, no matter how hard it was attempting to do so.
The hook worked effortlessly in breaking open the biscuit wrapper. Gloria took two. One was such an awkward quantity when it came to lemon creams. There was comfort and irony in knowing she’d kept to her latest diet’s golden rule, self-appointed, that is, of not touching, looking at, eating from, sobbing over, or even caressing the biscuit tin – or, for that matter, any lurking packets – for the next six weeks. Roger would be proud she’d kept to it. Not that he minded, or even mentioned her fuller figure . . . too often, that is. The main thing was, she wouldn’t have to lie – to herself or to him. That was the key to their marriage. No lies, no secrets.
“No, I’m not,” Georgie said, her voice rising before ending with a defining “t”.
Gloria was sure her neighbours were now in on the conversation. For not even the distance between houses, with their established foliage and aged trees filling the depths of manicured gardens, could contain Georgie’s heightened state.
“Gwen is dead,” Georgie repeated, “mid-morning, today.”
Gloria felt her body slumping. “That puts paid to our Kreef Bay weekend then.”
“Are you serious, Gloria? That’s all you’ve got to say?”
Gloria’s eyes flew open. “No. No. I mean. Of course it’s not. It’s just that, well, she was perfectly fine when I saw her yesterday. We’d met for a coffee at that new place in Rondebosch, Blossom’s. The reviews live up to reality, by the way. A mixture of modern and Victorian. A touch of flowery wallpaper and matching china. Amazing place, considering it’s along Main Road, next to that awful shoe repair bar. The brownies …” Gloria stopped to gasp “… I tried Gwen’s, only a corner, mind. You’ll love them—”
“Gloria!” Georgie interrupted, once again engaging the neighbours.
Gloria pulled a face. “Sorry. Yes, where was I? Oh yes. Gwen. Yes, later she popped in at the house to ask Roger to check over some paperwork; they were laughing together in his study. I left them to it. Don’t tell me it was her heart.” She brushed crumbs from the duvet. “I remember her telling me how she hoped her death would be dramatic, trampled by elephants while on safari – something like that. Are you sure she’s dead?”
Georgie’s voice sounded tired. “She was at her swimming class.”
Gloria needed her phone against her ear to continue this conversation. “Really? She couldn’t swim?”
“Didn’t anybody see her struggling in the deep end?”
“Gloria, you really are an insensitive cow. It’s no wonder Roger is away a couple of days a week.”
Gloria chose to ignore the jibe. “I think we should meet at Gwen’s house. Gwen-too and Mabel need our support. I can be there by eleven.”
“No. Gwen-too said wait until she’s ready.”
“Really? We’re practically family. There when she was born … powdered her bottom over the years. And Mabel’s.”
“Practically or not, she said she needed time alone. I’ll speak to you soon.”
Gloria sat with lilac loops in her lap. Gwen was dead. And she couldn’t swim? Gloria had been friends with Gwen and Georgie since college days, where they’d met, having simultaneously. . .