Middlemere 5 (Chapters 7 -8)



Romy finds herself enjoying life at its fullest. Her relationship with Tom is lukewarm, but she believes to be in love with him. Yet, deep down she knows she won’t be ready to sacrifice anything for him. Besides, his friend and mentor Magnus is someone who irritates Romy. Magnus despises and almost humiliates the woman who is in love with him, Psyche. Romy hates it when he criticises everything and thinks himself the bee’s knees. That causes problems between Romy and Tom because she has no problem in her criticism about the man while Tom worships him. That is part of the reason why they end up breaking up, but also because he realises that she doesn’t love him as she should.

Romy also comes across Caleb again. When she visits her mother, she brings up Osborne Debauney, and Martha tells her about the man and his house, which she claims was magnificent with an unforgettable garden. So Romy decides to satisfy her curiosity, but then she gets lost in the rain, and the only car that stops to pick her up is driven by Caleb. This is the first time that they talk without their tempers flaring. Before she leaves on her bus, he promises to get in touch with her again. So they meet some weeks later to talk about Middlemere. Caleb admits that Romy was right about his mother being Debauney’s lover, and Romy tries to be discreet, but Caleb can guess that her mother’s affair was public knowledge. We can also see that for the first time Romy and Caleb are aware of each other, and they silently admire each other.

That night Romy also sees Johnny, Mrs Plummer’s paramour, with another woman. We know that Mrs Plummer is blind as far as Johnny is concerned. The woman is also sick, and recently she had surgery. Romy could have told her about the red-headed woman she saw Johnny with, but she knows that will only hurt Mrs Plummer.

As for Evelyn Debauny, she starts to look at her life with different eyes. After running into Hugo again, she admits to herself that she is in love with him. Some weeks later when she visits her friend Celia, she plucks up the courage to tell her that she is questioning her love for her husband and is considering to leave him. Despite what Celia is now divorced and living with her lover, she doesn’t encourage Evelyn to break up with Osborne. As a matter of fact, she tells her that she often regrets her decision as she didn’t consider the consequences that she now has to put up with. Evelyn doesn’t tell her about her infatuation with Hugo, because maybe she feels ashamed. One thing that both women are wrong in is that they both think that Osborne has always been faithful, and we know that he cheated on his wife with Betty Hesketh, Caleb’s wife. If she knew that he was a cheater, would she dare to take the step?


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