One Small Act of Kindness 4 (Pages 224- 281)



Alice finally comes to see Gethin.

Even then she is unable to remember, so Gethin explains to her how their relationship started. Apparently, they were in some kind of retreat to get over the stress. Alice was tired of working as a temp and she was trying to get over a relationship with a married man. As for what happened before the accident, Gethin tells him that they had planned to go on a holiday to France, but as a surprise he had managed to upgrade their trip to a luxury stay in Thailand. That caused a terrible row, ending up with Alice storming out of the house.

As Gethin tells her about the row, Alice thinks that this is a side she doesn’t like about the old Alice, and she wonders how she could have thrown a tantrum when her boyfriend was actually doing something good. I wonder if Alice was hiding something. Maybe she was having an affair with Luke, but that doesn’t explain why she was upset about the change of plans. After all, they were going away anyway. Why the fuss then? What Gethin doesn’t know is what she was doing in Longhampton when she had the accident and why she was heading for the hotel. I don’t know if Gethin isn’t telling the whole truth and is hiding something. He seems genuine and sweet, and the problem for Alice is that even though he is handsome and good-hearted, she simply doesn’t fancy him. He is a stranger to her. The reason why he didn’t report her missing was because he actually went on the trip with one of his mates, and while away, he kept calling her but he thought Alice wasn’t answering and their relationship was over.

Alice is worried about being intimate with Gethin, and in the end Libby comes up with a solution. Alice can stay in the hotel for a few more days, and in the meantime Gethin can ‘court’ her so that they can get to know each other as this is what Alice has to do. The truth is that if I were Alice, I wouldn’t feel at ease living with a person who is a virtual stranger. I don’t know how this will result. Alice doesn’t feel drawn to him, and I have the hunch that either Alice needs to discover why she got upset about the change of plans for their holiday or maybe Gethin isn’t telling the whole truth. Maybe Luke knows something, or at least I think he has a bigger part in this drama. I also think that the reason why Alice intended to go to the hotel can be meaningful.

As for Libby, she is also having problems with Jason. When she returns to the hotel from a session with Bob at the hospital, he sees the builders going. Then she discovers that Jason hasn’t been truthful to her. He has spent all his cash as he had to pay some old debts and also some of the things his mother needed to pay. Libby also discovers that he has invested in the business she had told him not to, and then it dawns on her that it is not the only venture. There is no money to pay the builders, neither the cash of their savings nor the money he borrowed from her father. Now the hotel is like a battlefield after the workers have been working around, but they are gone and there is no way they’ll be returning without the money. Libby and Jason have a terrible row, and Jason feels hurt that she doesn’t trust him, and I can’t blame Libby. He has proved to be untrustworthy, and his only reaction is to walk out on her. What are they going to do now with no money? How is Margaret going to react when she realizes that the son who she continuously praises has left her and the hotel she loves high and dry?

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