The Perfect Affair 3 (Chapters 9 – 11)

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SPOILERS!!!

The novel seesaws between Rose’s memories about Henry and Eve’s present.

We know that Rose keeps dresses in her wardrobe from her youth, and now we understand the reason why she has kept them. In 1960 the Derby Day was a big occasion for her boss as it was an opportunity to hobnob with some other businessmen and politicians. Rose is asked to go to supervise everything, but she is concerned about what to wear. Then she gets a package in her house; it is a beautiful dress, a present from Henry.

The day of the races Rose is busy, making sure everything is all right. When things are not so hectic, Henry asks her to see the races with them, and he even suggests they bet some money on one of the horses. When the horse wins, Henry wraps his arms around her waist, lifts her up, and kisses her on the mouth. Later when everything has finished, Mr Giorgiadis, their boss, asks Henry to drive Rose home. In the car he apologises for the kiss, but she tells him he shouldn’t. Then Rose takes the plunge and asks him what they are going to do. She is quite brave to talk about what is clearly happening between them, but nobody knows what to say. Rose mentions that this day was a turning point, so I wonder what happened afterwards.

At present time Eve is fighting against what she feels. There is her family, who she is feeling more and more isolated from. Jodie receives the results for her A levels, which are brilliant and allow her to choose the university she wants. Yet, when Rose tries to confirm that Durham is her choice for next year, Jodie tells her that she won’t be going next year and her father will explain. Totally confused, Eve goes to find Andrew, who tells her that Jodie has decided to go to Thailand to teach English for a year, and then she will continue her studies in Durham University. Eve is hurt that her husband and daughter have shut her out, keeping these plans from her, and she feels more lonely than ever even though Andrew and Jodie keep telling her that they didn’t want her to worry, so that is why they kept this from her.

While they talk outside the house where Andrew is working, Myles drives past in his car and waves at her. When Andrew asks her who that was, Eve just says that she doesn’t know and the man must have confused her with someone else. Eve realises this is the first lie, and others will follow. She feels she is lying by omission. She doesn’t tell Andrew about meeting Rose’s tenant, and when she starts reading “Rebecca”, she doesn’t tell him who recommended the book. Later in the week she agrees to meet Myles for lunch to discuss the book, and she doesn’t tell anybody, and lies to Rose when she pulls out of her usual visit on Wednesday. Eve feels exposed, but this is something he can’t ignore, and even though she knows she is treading on dangerous ground, she can’t help herself.

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