ome on, Mum.
It’s not as if you’re being put out to pasture.”Words by Dennis. Aimed at Daisy. Tipping the evening on itsside.Fifty-ﬁve-year-old Dennis, sitting on the taupe linen sofa, across
from the mahogany cocktail table. His new wife, Amanda, beside him,not saying a word. Dennis, leaning forward, patiently waiting to hear allthe things Daisy wasn’t saying. Then, hammering on. Forcing a smile.“I hope you’re not thinking that.”Actually, Daisy Phillips
thinking that.Smelling the grass of the pasture.Feeling the tickle of the blades under her nose.Searching her son’s face for some scrap of infanthood, a glimpse of childhood, a shred of adolescence. Nothing. Silly to think there mightbe, but Daisy was groping, thoroughly shaken.Dennis, “I think,
think”—gesturing to include Amanda—“you’d really like it there. It’s crazy to go on like you’ve been.” Meaningto continue living in the house she had been born in and had inheritedfrom her parents. The house she had spent her whole life in. Dennis,going on: “Life would be a permanent holiday.”Daisy, not replying. Too prim, too proper, with an elegance, a grace