I had no sympathy for the main character in the last book I read.
I have to say that I find Laura even worse. I could understand Josephine at some point, because she was driven by ambition, but Laura despises others just because of her sense of entitlement as if she were better than the others. It is outrageous. Her memories about her school days when she and girls like girl did to children like Heddy and others are outrageous. I know this is normal for children, but it is not less painful to see these things.
Now when she is all grown up, she admits to being selfish as if it were a good quality. When she helps Mrs Partridge, she does it to get off the hook as she feels unable to say no, or to protect herself. She doesn’t have a single thought about how terrible this family has it. Even when she volunteers to look after Nathan and keep her overnight – which she does so that the Patridges don’t arrive at her door – she is not very sympathetic as she scrutinises Nathan from head to toe, and she does everything to keep her little daughter away from Nathan. She doesn’t even tell her husband that he boy is sleeping in their spare room as if she were ashamed. However, she has a good moment when Nathan starts crying in the middle of the night, and she comforts him. Poor Nathan.
The description of Laura’s and her friends’ lives shows us a shallow life, and it is quite a contrast to what Laura is privy to now that she knows about Heddy. These women worry about such inane things when Heddy and her family have real problems. I guess we can say that we all sometimes act like Laura and her friends, worrying about silly things when we all know there are people with real problems. In any case, I have the impression that Laura knows that her and her friends’ lives are quite empty in their routine, and deep down she doesn’t like it, but she loves her world to be perfect as she thinks it is. She has money, pretty children and a husband who provides for her. I don’t know how much Laura loves her husband; I don’t even know if she likes him very much. When they are together, they only talk about the gossip they can share, but when Laura tries to talk about more important things like this matter about Heddy, he doesn’t even pretend to be interested. Apart from the money and the children, I don’t see what James brings to this marriage, and Laura’s opinion of him is quite low. She places on the bottom of her priority list.
Now that Laura feels she needs to get rid of Heddy and her mother, she is ready to do everything to sort out their problem. So after writing to the newspaper and the doctor with little result, she decides to visit Heddy alone, and there she starts telling her that she should stop cutting herself or she will lose her son. She is quite cruel in her comments. Laura doesn’t seem to be the brightest button in the box. When she was a child, she thought that Heddy was thick and stupid among other things, but Laura is not too sharp either. She might have gone to university, but as far as feelings go, she has no idea at all. Does she really think that Heddy cuts herself because she wants to? We know that this is what she and her friends from school did in the old days. She mentions that it was a fab, and I find that totally outrageous. The girls even showed each other the scars. How crazy is that? That reminds of an article I read once in which a group of teenagers have agreed to fall pregnant. This does sound very similar. So who was the one who decided they should cut themselves? And then the others followed the lead like sheep? Laura even had to be rushed to hospital when she cut her arm deeper. This really contrasts with what Heddy is going through. All these silly girls horsing around with razors and then Heddy and her real problems. That makes my blood boil.
I am curious what will happen to Heddy and Laura. I really want the best for Heddy, and I hope that Laura gets to experience what it means having real problems.