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"...this small cluster of aversions..."

From William Trevor's short story, "A Friendship" (from the collection After Rain):

He hadn't liked the whiff of cigarettes that greeted him when he opened the hall door, nor the sound of voices that had come from the sitting-room. He didn't like the crumpled-up Mignons Morceuax packet, the gin bottle and the vermouth bottle on his bureau, Margy's lipstained cigarette-ends, the way Margy was lolling on the floor with her shoes off. Margy didn't have to look to see if this small cluster of aversions registered in Philip's tight features. She knew it didn't; he didn't let things show.

Margy is the best friend of Philip's wife Francesca, and a regular guest (though not terribly welcomed by him) in Philip and Francesca's home. Trevor is masterful at showing Philip's distaste for Margy's careless, almost libertine lifestyle from this list of objects, and then her final affrontery: the fact that she's on the floor with her shoes off. Yes, Philip is pretty uptight.

September 14, 2017 in Books | Permalink