May and Jansen's relationship has lost its fizz. Enter Francine, an older and infinitely more sophisticated Parisian - May is captivated. Then Jansen's ex turns up on the doorstep .... Not action-packed but well-defined characters and snappy, realistic dialogue kept my interest to the final page.
‘This is heavy! What have you got in here?’ Jansen flipped open the suitcase.
‘Some books to read.’
‘How many? We’re only going away for two nights.’ Jansen started rifling through the bag like a Customs Officer.
‘I won’t know what I feel like reading until I get there, so I’ve taken a selection.’
‘You’ve taken a library!’ Jansen pulled out a large book, and held it in her palm, as if she were trying to guess how much it weighed. ‘Histoire du feminisme francais? – no, May, you’re not going to read this.’
‘I am.’ May took the book from her, and put it back into the suitcase.
‘Lelia, or the Life of Georges Sand!’ Jansen read out. ‘Methodology in Qualitative Research: I feel as if I’m going on a study weekend. This is meant to be a holiday. Take one book, and I bet you won’t even read that. You’re not going to read all of these.’
‘I will. I’ll read bits from all of them.’
‘What’s this?’ Jansen had discovered Francine’s essays. ‘You’re taking all of her articles?’ She pulled out the folder. ‘I’m not helping to pull this bag, unless you get rid of something.’
‘I can’t get rid of that. That’s the most important thing.’ May took the folder from Jansen and put it back into the suitcase.
‘Put it in another bag, May – I’m not carrying her essays.’