By Julienne van Loon
This impressive novel unearths the robust bond of affection among associates and the darkish pervasiveness of habit. As Diana Kooper runs from a vehicle crash, scarcely on reflection, she leaves her ally, Nicole, slumped and bloody within the broken motor vehicle. After hitching a trip to a distant neighborhood, Diana takes a task as a kitchen hand at Bob's, an remoted truck cease. in the beginning she thinks she will expect this type of rhythm her existence will persist with during this dusty, diesel-driven, lonely cease, yet quickly a sequence of unsettling occasions disturb her probably ordered existence—a puppy is brutally stabbed to loss of life and left as a caution beside one of many fuel pumps, and while Bob disappears less than suspicious situations, Diana is left to seem after the roadhouse kitchen on her personal. As lifestyle turns into more and more demanding, Diana is compelled to confront her haunting previous as a way to take care of her current drawback.
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Guess what? ’ By then, Diana was a ball on the floor of their room. ’ She felt like a rock, like she couldn’t stand up, not even to go back down the hall to the toilet. Nicole wanted to take her to the doctor but Diana wouldn’t budge. So Nic spent an hour sitting beside the crouched form, stroking 51 THIRD PAGES 23/3/05 10:09 AM Page 52 Diana’s hair as she wrote down her symptoms on a scrap of paper. Then she left for the twenty-four hour medical centre on Broadway. Nicole feigned the symptoms herself to the Indian doctor.
But soon there were record catches. Twelve tuna all up. One of them weighed two hundred and eighty pounds. It was that big they had to cut off its head to fit it in the cool room. ‘Bringing us luck, all right — twelve thousand dollars’ worth,’ one of the fellas finally conceded. 57 THIRD PAGES 23/3/05 10:09 AM Page 58 During the second week, Diana pulled in a thirty-kilo fish on her own. She could hardly believe it. She got it up on board, shot it and collapsed on the deck beside it. The crew laughed about that for the rest of the trip.
Diana is thinking how irrelevant their conversation is. There is just the way he looks at her. And the way she looks back at him. She wipes the counter top down, distractedly, and washes and dries her hands, smiling to herself. ‘The boss is away in town,’ she says. And soon there’s a vague sense of time falling away, a kind of downhill glide. ’ she says. ‘Andy. ’ Then Andy West is kissing her up against the Coke fridge, his leg between her thighs, her tongue deep inside his mouth. Internally, Diana is laughing at the absurdity of it, even as she is carried away by the moment.