Madame Balashovskaya’s Apartment
Rose’s children, Nicholas, a successful psychiatrist, and Barabara, a failed actress cannot agree, all these years later, if their mother’s death was a suicide or an accident. In this charming, confection of a novel, everyone is determined to reinvent themselves, but not all will succeed.
“You can’t stop to listen, you’re late. Mamina kept you. It’s her fault, someone else’s fault. The fault is never yours. Your errors melt in the heat of your importance and you don’t see them anymore. You mould them into something else.”
“Barbara, did you want to talk about Maman?”
“I can’t talk now, but I will call you tonight. May I? Will you be in?”
“I want to talk to you about her now.”
“I will phone you.” Nicholas started to walk away. Something hard hit him on the back between his shoulder blades. He stopped, stunned. Barbara pounded him again, this time on the side of his neck. She was using as her weapon a jar of chestnut puree pulled from the depths of her purse. The puree had been intended as a present for Mamina.
“Stop it!” he shouted. She hit him once more. He grabbed her hair, pulling her away from him. She screamed. They faced each other. On the opposite sidewalk, a man, holding a leash with a squat, frizzy white dog attached to the end of it, stared at them.
“How could you?”
“You hit me first.”
Another train rolled over the bridge, burying them beneath its rumbling and rattling.