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Novel Excerpt, Le Desarroi de Mon Mere

Edith set down her glass and turned to Raquel. There were doves in the eaves and the honeyed light of Paris shone through the window.

"You are a cliche' right out of Boheme," she said. "Look at you, that studied brown dress that makes you look like a gutter waif. Pull yourself together and finish one of your several degrees, my dear. Become someone. Have a child. Anything that gives you a life."

Raquel bit her lip, restraining herself from putting her mother's eye out with the poker gleaming at the hearth.

"Actually, she said, straightening her shoulders, "I am pregnant. "

Edith's mouth twitched. She stepped back and sat heavily down in her chair, lighting a cigarette, arranging herself in the brocade chair, turning her profile to her daughter. .

"Dieux. You trollop. You exhaust me. Have you scheduled an abortion?"

Now Raquel knew she had her mother cornered for the coup d'gras.

No. I am having the child. I have married the father, whom you've not met; we have taken a flat in London."