It begins with a shocking act of violence. On a humid, thundery afternoon, Laura Blundy murders the man who saved her life. He is her husband, but she has a lover.
Fifteen years her junior, already the father of five, Billy is a laborer-one of thousands of faceless men installing the sewers in the city. He is the only passion Laura has ever known, and so she pursues her obsessive dream of their life together to its dire extremes.
In Laura Blundy, Julie Myerson has conjured a nineteenth-century London that is tender, murky, and unsettling. As Laura's story unravels in a dizzying, elliptical narrative, the reader falls helpless prey to the seduction of this bracingly original character. A tale of the unspeakable and tragic exigencies of loss and need, Laura Blundy is an eerily unforgettable love story.
I do it on a hot and stormy late-summer's afternoon, shortly after the evening post arrives and some time before the lamps are lit.
It's five o'clock and the air is yellow. Thunder shudders through the sky.
It is not done that quickly. Well, he is a big man - five eleven in his stockinged feet - and I am not a hefty woman. It takes several goes. But I have surprise on my side. He never expects it - he can't believe it. Neither can I. In the end I use my crutches as well. I don't stop till he's down and twitching, till he's stopped shouting and screaming, till he's down.
The room flashes. Rain falls - delicate as needles then thick and hard.
I stand there for a few moments, electrified by what I've done. Funny that the dog-weight's still in my hand. I thought I put it down. The crutch is squeezed so tight under my arm that it hurts. Blood runs fast from his head. The air's hot - sweet and sticky. I ...
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