Excerpt from A Traitor To Memory by Elizabeth George, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Traitor To Memory

by Elizabeth George

A Traitor To Memory
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2001, 736 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2002, 1024 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Why, she's not been out with a man in years, Ted Wiley had thought at her flustered reaction to his invitation. And he'd wondered why.

Now, perhaps, he knew. She had secrets from him, had Eugenie. I have something important I want to tell you, Ted. Sins to confess, she'd said. Sins.

Well, there was no time like the present to hear what she had to say.

At the top of Friday Street, Ted waited for the traffic lights to change, P.B. shivering close at his side. Duke Street was also the main thoroughfare to either Reading or Marlow, and as such it carried all manner of vehicles rumbling through town. A wet night like this did little to decrease the volume of traffic in a society that was becoming depressingly more reliant upon cars and even more depressingly desirous of a commuter lifestyle defined by work in the city and life in the country. So even at nine o'clock at night, cars and lorries splashed along the soaked street, their headlamps creating ochroid fans that reflected against windows and in pools of standing water.

Too many people going too many places, Ted thought morosely. Too many people without the slightest idea of why they're rushing headlong through their lives.

The traffic lights changed and Ted crossed over, making the little jog into Grey's Road with P.B. bumping along next to him. Despite the fact that they'd not walked even a quarter of a mile, the old dog was wheezing, and Ted stepped into the shallow doorway of Mirabelle's Antiques to give the poor retriever a breather. Their destination was almost in sight, he reassured her. Surely she could make it just a few more yards up to Albert Road.

There, a car park served as courtyard for the Sixty Plus Club, an organisation attending to the social needs of Henley's ever-growing community of pensioners. There, too, Eugenie worked as Director. And there Ted had met her, upon relocating to the town on the Thames when he could no longer bear in Maidstone the memories of his wife's lengthy death.

"Major Wiley, how lovely. You're on Friday Street," Eugenie had said to him, reviewing his membership form. "You and I are neighbours. I'm at number sixty-five. The pink house? Doll Cottage? I've been there for years. And you're at..."

"The bookshop," he'd said. "Just across the street. The flat's above it. Yes. But I'd no idea ... I mean, I've not seen you."

"I'm always out early and back late. I know your shop, though. I've been in many times. At least when your mother was running it. Before the stroke, that is. And she's still well, which is lovely. Improving, isn't she."

He'd thought Eugenie was asking, but when he realised she wasn't -- indeed, she was merely affirming information that she already had -- then he also realised where he'd seen her before: at Quiet Pines Nursing Home, where three times each week Ted visited his mother. She volunteered there in the mornings, did Eugenie, and the patients referred to her as "our angel." Or so Ted's mother had informed him once as together they watched Eugenie entering a cubicle with an adult-sized nappie folded over her wrist. "She hasn't any relatives here, and the Home don't pay her a penny, Ted."

Then why, Ted had wanted to know at the time. Why?

Secrets, he thought now. Still waters and secrets.

He looked down at the dog, who'd sagged against him, out of the rain and determined to snooze while she had the chance. He said, "Come along, P.B. Not much farther now," and he looked across the street to see through the bare trees that there was not much more time either.

For from where he and the dog stood sheltered, he noticed that the Sixty Plus Club was disgorging its New Year's Eve Gala Committee. Raising their umbrellas and stepping through puddles like neophyte high-wire artists, the committee members called out their goodnights to one another with enough good cheer to suggest that a compromise on comestibles had been finally achieved. Eugenie would be pleased at this. Pleased, she'd no doubt be feeling expansive and ready to talk to him.

Excerpted from A Traitor to Memory by Elizabeth George Copyright 2001 by Elizabeth George. Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...

First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.