A Little Stranger by Kate Pullinger

A Little Stranger

Kate Pullinger

If you’ve ever given birth and then been stuck at home with a small child, you’ll recognise some if not all of Fran’s feelings. Not everyone takes such drastic measures to reassert their own existence but you can understand why Fran does. This is a rare story built around the acknowledgement that even the most beautiful and loved baby can seem to be eating you alive. That combined with Fran’s less than orthodox family take her half way across the world to make her peace with herself.

Extract

Fran looks at Leslie. She smiles, but the corners of her mouth turn down involuntarily and tears well up in her eyes. And, in that moment, Leslie sees that Fran is a nice young woman to whom something has happened, for whom something has gone horribly wrong. When, at the airport, Fran said ‘I’ve run away from my baby’, Leslie’s instinct was to flee. But now she’s facing her again, standing in the casino, looking pathetic, Leslie thinks of herself as a mother and she remembers a thing or two about that time.

Parallels
  • Ursula, Under by Ingrid Hill
  • Sushi for Beginners by Marion Keyes