I wasn’t always sure I liked Paula - and that may be an issue for some readers - but the delicate prose drew me into this poignant portrayal of her double loss of death and betrayal. Occasional lighter moments mean that whilst this is sad, it isn’t depressing, and its brevity means the plunge into the numbness of her grief doesn’t last too long. My favourite parts were of Paula at work on the neonatal ward, and I found those very moving.
I’ve always remembered how every promise of permanence can be snatched away with no warning, how everything that fills can suddenly empty out with the violence of a curettage. It happens with mothers, with flats, with dogs, it happens with love.