Excerpt from Laura Blundy by Julie Myerson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Laura Blundy

by Julie Myerson

Laura Blundy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2000, 272 pages
    Jul 2001, 272 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter 1 

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 need the WC. It is bad timing, that I should be coming on the rag just now.

I should go but I can't. Can't take my eyes off him. He should be dead but his nerves don't know it yet. Is that why his eyes are rolling around and his limbs are moving? Not much but a little.

I put the weight down on the table. Carefully so it's still within reach.

Ewan, I say, leaning on my crutch and bending slightly towards him, Are you all right?

I don't expect him to be at all all right, but what else can I say? How do I speak to him?

Ewan? Ewan? Are you?

He doesn't answer. He doesn't even moan. The little movements have stopped and he's the stillest and silentest I've ever known him. He makes my own voice sound too loud.

I should really light the gas but don't want to. The room's so gloomy, drained of colour by the storm, but I think I'd rather not see it any better just now. His body on the kitchen floor - our kitchen floor - the blood running.

Yes, I am glad of the darkness. Look at me shaking, I'm so tired. My brain is tired, so tired.

I can't believe how much blood is coming out. I think I can smell it. That and something else that is not blood.

It's a terrible sight. No one should have to see this. It wouldn't bother him of course, but I'm not like him. I'm not used to seeing inside people. None of this is what I expected. I wish I'd thought to fling something over his face. I could get something. When I get the energy to think.

The storm's still going - banging fit to crack the sky open. Very lucky actually for it drowned out his cries as he fell. But that sobbing now, is it him or is it me? I hope it's me. Hard to say what I'm doing or not doing and that's the truth - one act so tangled in with another.

I am shocked and choked and squiffy. What I will do is I will wipe my fingers on his mother's best linen tablecloth, ha ha, and sit on the settle a moment and think of what to do next.

Peace. I am sitting here in the thick perfect dark, thinking how good it is to be in a silent room. Just the sound of my own breathing.

So many shadows in this room - his mother made it, with her small black cigarettes and her chipping away at everyone's character. It was a bad place while she was here and it is almost as bad with her gone. Bad dead people leave their history behind them. I expect they have their reasons.

Trying to relax, I see with horror that my skirt is entirely splashed with his blood - and then my crutch, the tip of one of my crutches is clotted with his hair and whatnot.

Clutching the mantel and then the table for support, I get myself round the room holding on to the furniture and douse the wooden tip in the big, deep sink, the one where Verity normally does the turnips. Pump the tap. There - a bright slither of his hair going down with a shred of skin attached.

Reprinted from Laura Blundy by Julie Myerson by permission of Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (c) 2000 by Julie Myerson. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & 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.


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.