Barefoot 5 (Pages 171-209)

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July starts with a beach picnic.

Poor Vicki is getting worse and worse, and then she does something stupid. She tricks her sister, convincing her to wait for her in a coffee shop while she is on chemo. Yet, she skips the session, which she knows is wrong. Her reason to do so is because she doesn’t want to show the usual side effects during the picnic. Thankfully, I don’t know much about the topic, so I don’t know what skipping a session will mean for her. I just hope that she continues going, because otherwise, she will die, and her children and family need her.

I am not sure why the picnic was so important to Vicki. This is the first time that Ted and Josh meet, and for some reason she finds this a turning point. Ted had expressed his dislike about the idea of a man as a babysitter. Yet, when they meet, they get along, or at least, Ted makes a good job pretending he is okay with Josh. We don’t know.

As for Melanie, she keeps acting foolishly. Now that she has stopped getting obsessed with her husband, her obsession shifts to Josh. Even Vicki notices her looking at Josh like a lovesick teenager. Josh knows, and when they return to the cottage and Melanie suggests they go for a walk, he knows what she wants. He is reluctant to show any kind of interest, but he has drunk too much, so he lets himself follow her. As they sit on a bench, she kisses him, and it was during the kiss that she realises how silly she’s being, and she finally stops before things escalate.

I have to say that this book reminds me of a Spanish “Belle Epoque” in which four sisters were obsessed and smitten with a young man staying in their house for a while. In this case it is similar because the three women feel quite mesmerised by this young man. Melanie obviously has a crush on him, Brenda is also attracted to him, but she stops herself from pursuing this direction as she is still in love with her student. As for Vicki, there is also something there with Josh, which I cannot identify. I don’t think her interest is romantic or sexual, and actually, she regards Josh as another son even though she is not old enough to be his mother. Likewise, Josh feels that Vicki has become some kind of surrogate mother for him.

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