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An Almost Perfect Moon

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      An Almost Perfect Moon
Литагент HarperCollins

Jamie Holland

Jamie Holland

AN ALMOST PERFECT MOON

For Pip

Epigraph (#ulink_c5a94cfe-a9b3-5d4f-ab5b-00460050a273)

The indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable Perfection, even though it consist in nothing more than in the pounding of an old piano, is what alone gives meaning to our life on this unavailing star.

Logan Pearsall Smith, Afterthoughts

Contents

Cover (#u2008701e-3b70-5ef7-9de4-e9fc0d6d2e07)

Title Page (#u13479e9c-bd3e-5985-a061-9a53a6c08536)

Dedication (#ubaf33a97-fa72-5612-8475-888ce78d0ffd)

Epigraph (#u35ee8661-7ae0-5e73-8722-ea5d8d3371d8)

part one – spring (#ud6752a5e-c79c-5d91-bd17-660091a81c70)

1. Sunday and raining (#ube704951-a9a2-5e91-a44a-c7ba1b1b93e4)

2. Harry faces a conundrum (#u545359f7-1f76-5ef7-9246-7e889d09b5a8)

3. Flin receives a shock (#uf2c1f2c0-7cb8-5a1d-9901-0d4260740ea8)

part two – summer (#u05902d52-3e71-5a57-9254-a3d52c4be94b)

4. the first whole day of Thomas Armstrong (#u78036b6c-e4e9-582f-9623-a85bb54fdbcf)

5. Gloucester sojourn (#u71db3c22-8adc-5fee-8796-2aa7648ad537)

6. paternity leave (#uf72bbcb9-978d-5cb3-adb7-fd1b6dd926a2)

7. Flin’s quest to become a modern day Pop Larkin takes a step in the right direction (#litres_trial_promo)

8. fate throws a cat among the Pigeons (#litres_trial_promo)

9. Ben begins to feel frustrated (in more ways than one) (#litres_trial_promo)

10. rural realities (#litres_trial_promo)

11. harry sees Jenny again but feels tantalised (#litres_trial_promo)

12. client dinner (#litres_trial_promo)

13. cold comfort (#litres_trial_promo)

14. a breath of French air (#litres_trial_promo)

part three – autumn (#litres_trial_promo)

15. Ben confused (#litres_trial_promo)

16. town and country (#litres_trial_promo)

17. Harry in Arcadia (#litres_trial_promo)

part four – winter (#litres_trial_promo)

18. Ben (#litres_trial_promo)

19. Flin (#litres_trial_promo)

20. Harry (#litres_trial_promo)

epilogue christening (#litres_trial_promo)

Acknowledgements (#litres_trial_promo)

Keep Reading (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

Also by the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

Copyright (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

part one: spring (#ulink_b2723993-6f0b-5caa-a761-2a20c5267294)

CHAPTER ONE Sunday and raining (#ulink_5ba6cb9b-b61a-5d79-8e12-a3ca81b7755e)

Outside, the rain continued, putting paid to the planned walk on Wandsworth Common. Lucie had delivered the kind of high-class lunch her husband and close friends had come to expect. All the same, at seven-and-a-half months pregnant, she had warned all of them this was going to be the last she would be cooking at her and Ben’s house for quite some time. In the short-term future, if anyone was expecting to be fed on a Sunday, Ben would have to be the cook. Her husband had shrugged and the others had agreed that in that case, they should definitely make the most of the spread before them.

Now, having eaten and drunk too much, the small party slumped in front of the television, the fire gently flickering in its even, gas-infused way. They were watching Rebecca.

‘Oh my God, it’s burning,’ Tiffany exclaimed as Maxim de Winter hurtled down the drive towards Manderley. Flin was half reading the paper, and Harry seemed mildly distracted, but the other three were content to watch the final events of the film unfolding on the screen.

Ben was the first to pass judgement, as the final image – a single ‘R’ surrounded by flames – melted from the screen.

‘I’m sorry, darling, but that was bollocks.’ He stretched his arms above him and yawned.

‘It’s a great film,’ sighed Lucie. ‘Don’t be such a bloody heathen. Didn’t have enough guns for you, I suppose.’ She slapped him lightly on his shoulder and dug one of her legs into him. Since cooking the lunch, she’d refused to lift another finger; it was her prerogative to sit down and gently soothe her swollen, semi-spherical belly.

‘Well, I thought it was great. Really romantic,’ put in Tiffany.

‘Although I have to admit,’ added Lucie, ‘their’s was a totally unconvincing relationship. Never would have worked. There’s too much stacked against them. He’s dominating and dismissive and she’s wet. Not to mention the manslaughter bit. Because that’s what it was, even if she was dying and he was driven to it. It’s so sordid.’

Ben leant over and kissed her very delicately on the cheek. ‘Then we’re obviously doomed, darling: you’re dominating and I’m meek.’

‘Oh, be quiet,’ retorted Lucie, prodding him in the ribs.

‘See? I rest my case,’ he grinned.

But Tiffany, who hadn’t yet married Flin, picked up on something else. ‘So what do you think makes a good marriage then? You guys always seem so great together. What’s the secret?’

‘An adoring husband,’ said Ben.

Ignoring him, and deciding to take the question seriously, Lucie replied, ‘I don’t know really – I suppose you’ve got to be best of pals. Shared interests. You’ve got to like each other’s friends. That’s important.’ She looked thoughtfully in the direction of the bookcase. ‘Fancy each other, of course.’
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