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LOVE, LOVE ME DO by Mark Haysom, Chapter Two

LOVE, LOVE ME DO by Mark Haysom, Chapter Two

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Published by Little Brown UK
1963. The year the Beatles first top the charts. The year Martin Luther King has a dream. The year Truman Bird moves his family from their home in Brighton to a dilapidated caravan in the Ashdown Forest - then disappears.

Truman's a charmer, a chancer, a liar. He's always got away with it, too. But now he's gone a dangerous step too far and only has one day to put things right - before he loses everything.

For Truman's wife, Christie, life has not turned out the way she'd imagined. How has she, that young girl of not that many years ago, ended up like this? In a caravan. With three children. And an absent husband.

Honest and unsettling, yet ultimately uplifting, this unique, wise and addictive British debut weaves themes of love, betrayal, family and childhood, and shows that even though life has a habit of getting in the way of dreams, people find their own extraordinary ways of bouncing back.
1963. The year the Beatles first top the charts. The year Martin Luther King has a dream. The year Truman Bird moves his family from their home in Brighton to a dilapidated caravan in the Ashdown Forest - then disappears.

Truman's a charmer, a chancer, a liar. He's always got away with it, too. But now he's gone a dangerous step too far and only has one day to put things right - before he loses everything.

For Truman's wife, Christie, life has not turned out the way she'd imagined. How has she, that young girl of not that many years ago, ended up like this? In a caravan. With three children. And an absent husband.

Honest and unsettling, yet ultimately uplifting, this unique, wise and addictive British debut weaves themes of love, betrayal, family and childhood, and shows that even though life has a habit of getting in the way of dreams, people find their own extraordinary ways of bouncing back.

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Published by: Little Brown UK on Mar 31, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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09/14/2014

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2
Christie: 5.37 a.m.
That was what she had wanted for Baxter
W
ith a mother’sunbreakable habit, Christie listened tothe children’s breathing: Megan in her deep untrou-bled sleep, the baby mercifully quiet in the carry-cot on thefloor next to her, Baxter awake and sighing, restlessly kick-ing the sheets from his legs.Baxter, poor Baxter.Lying on her cramped makeshift bed, Christie proppedherself up on her elbows and whispered to him.‘Is everything OK, Baxter?’He sighed again; but said nothing.Taking care not to knock the baby’s cot, Christie swungher legs from her bed and negotiated on tiptoes the few feetof the confined space of the caravan. She bent over, put herhead close to his. ‘It’s all right,’ she said, straightening hisblanket, smoothing his sheet.‘There’s nothing to worry about . . .I’ve decidedthatyou
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 Love Love Me Do 10/02/2014 11:17 Page 7
 
don’t have to go with your dad after all. Go back to sleepnow . . . She bent again and felt the warmth of his forehead on herlips as she kissed him.Making her way back to her bed, she listened once more.The sighing had stopped. All the children were sleeping now.It had been a stupid idea anyway; another fantasy.Somehow Christie had managed to convince herself thatwhat Baxter and his father needed was to spend timetogether, just the two of them; to really get to know eachother.For too long they had been locked in this unbearable cycleof anger and tears. Truman had no patience with the boy, hewas a storm always waiting to erupt; and Baxter was soclumsy and tongue-tied whenever he was with him. The moreanxious he became, the more that seemed to fuel Truman’srage. And that, of course, made Baxter more desperate still.It had never been quite the same with Megan. With her,Truman’s anger would soon subside and he would scoop herinto his arms and make her laugh even as she cried. Some -times Christie could see in Baxter’s eyes that all he wantedwas for his father to pick him up and hold
him
close. What
he
wanted to hear was his father’s voice making
him
laugh.What he needed to feel was his father’s arms about
him
.Instead what he so often heard were more harsh words andwhat he felt was the weight of his father’s hand: a bruisingwallop across the legs or the backside or a stinging cuff around the ear.Christie drew some small comfort that at least it hadnever been more than that. She was certain that Trumanwould never,
could 
never really hurt his own son.Hewasn’t
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 Love Love Me Do 10/02/2014 11:17 Page 8

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