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‘Hi!’ Tina said when she arrived home a couple of hours later.
Angie was lying on the couch in the living room, looking at her phone. Solly was running figure-eights around Tina’s legs, his tail a blur of joy.
‘Sol, for God’s sake . . .’ Tina laughed, trying to get into the kitchen so she could put her bags down. ‘I see you, okay? I see you . . .’
The dog threw himself down on the floor, tummy-up, waited till Tina almost got her hand on him and then leapt up again.
‘Oh, please yourself,’ she said mildly.
She asked Angie if she wanted anything to drink, but she said no, so Tina got a glass of cranberry juice, got her phone and one of her packages from the Strand and went through to join her daughter.
‘How was your day?’ she asked. Angie said ‘okay’ and then Tina handed her the bag before sitting down in an adjacent armchair.
‘What is it?’
‘Open it and see.’
Tina texted Bette, who was at a soccer game with the kids, while Angie opened the bag and took out a paperback. ‘Wide Sargasso Sea,’ she read off the cover. Then she looked at Tina and asked, ‘What is it?’
‘Mama B said you were doing Jane Eyre in school.’
Angie looked at the back cover. ‘It’s a sequel?’
‘It’s the same characters, just taken to a different place, in a different way.’
Angie knit her brow and looked at the back cover again. ‘When’s it from?’
‘Nineteen sixties?’ Tina guessed. She hadn’t read it since college. She remembered it had some pretty racy scenes, but Angie would take them in stride. She’d read Normal People last year and it hadn’t done her any harm. And the fact was, she was almost grown up. Her fingers seemed longer. There was a hint of bone in her shoulders. A leanness in the curve of her large, round eyes, the long slope of her nose – impossible to have inherited any of that from Bette, and yet, somehow, there it was. ‘You see what you want to see,’ Bette always said. ‘I see you,’ Tina always replied.
‘Thanks,’ said Angie, snapping her attention away from the book.