Sunday, November 12, 2006

Toxic relationships

She took the urn inside with her and placed it on the kitchen draining board. She unscrewed the lid and poured some of the contents into a saucer and examined them, poking them around with a knife like a forensic technician. It was gritty, more like clinker than ash, and Louise half-expected to see a bit of tooth, a recognizable bone. Toxic waste. Perhaps if she added water to the saucer, her mother would be resurrected, the clay re-formed from the dust. Her moth-wing lungs might reinflate and she would rise like a genie from the urn and sit opposite Louise at the too-small kitchen table in the too-small kitchen and tell Louise how sorry she was for all the bad things she'd done. And Louise would say, "Too fucking late, get back in your urn."

--Kate Atkinson, One Good Turn


  1. Good gods, and I was just going to dance on my father's grave.

  2. And the really incredible thing is that there's a scene with this character much later in the book that made me sob outloud. I wouldn't have thought it possible after this intro. . .

  3. I have this book in my TBR. CANNOT WAIT.


"I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time."

Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.