A Change in the Lighting
"When her husband leaves her suddenly for a younger woman, Ella Ferguson is compelled to look afresh at many things that she had taken for granted: her relationships with her children, the conventions which had governed her life, and most of all at herself and aspects of her own character newly revealed."
"Everything Witting writes has breadth and she is a master at sustaining mood." - Peter Craven
At the moment which became history, Elia Ferguson was wearing nightgown, dressing-gown and slippers.
She did not eat breakfast in her dressing-gown ever again.
Breakfast had been eaten. Her youngest, only unmarried child, Sophie, had left for her job as secretary assistant in a small film company and Ella was now sitting on the edge of the unmade bed watching her husband's reflection in the dressingtable mirror.
Her husband, Professor Bernard Ferguson MB, FP.CS, was knotting his tie. That was why she was watching him. For thirty-two years she had taken pleasure in watching him knot his tie, handling the rich, dark silk, sliding the tightening loop under his shirt collar, where it settled into a firm, precisely placed knot. He was still extremely handsome, having stiffened more in mind than in body, but that movement recreated for her the beautiful, earnest young man she had married. Buying him ties as presents, which seemed such a sedate occupation, was for her what the young people called a turn-on.
From the Penguin paperback edition, 1995.
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Last modified: July 23, 2003.