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Jan, I love this story. How someone strives to be whole as if the others are somehow righter, as if other people do it better and are not also living a personal hell of their own, not getting it also. Great work. My favorite quote is the following:
"As the cop began to drive it seemed to Pauline that it wasn’t her bad habits and misplaced longings that had undone her. It wasn’t her father leaving her to endure her mother’s death alone. It wasn’t Simon Stapleton. It was the overreaching and pretending. It was the self-doubt and the shame."
Really wonderful writing.
The writing was crisp and clear and yet very moving. The ending turned around and hit the reader hard, as Pauline's new perspective about the night that she met her husband did for her. How very chilling it must have been for her to know that in a way her entire marriage was based on a single, incorrect assumption. Wonderful job, and I look forward to reading more!