The Adoption has received a good review (scroll down) in today's Times, a newspaper which has suddenly and mysteriously risen hugely in my estimation. Now, the last extract from it I plan on publishing here. It introduces Jody, the three year old whom Jane and Darren adopt. This passage describes her first morning at the home of what will become her new family.
"The little girl sat in the niche between the end of the piano and the wall. In her arms she held the doll she had brought with her. On the floor beside her lay a book Jane had retrieved from the fluffy wilderness beneath Clyde's bed. It was called Grandpa's Handkerchief and Jane was perturbed at being unable to recall if she had bought it for Eliot or Lorna. She knew for certain, though, that she had read it aloud at bedtimes scores of times to both and also to Clyde to instill knowledge of colours and days of the week and, most of all, to be close to them in that special reading-together way.
So there lay the book, unopened.
There say the quiet little girl.
Her name was Jody: Jody Jones.
Jane knew that three-year-olds are leaving babyhood behind. They may still get scared by strange noises or imaginary beasts, and may still cling to comfort blankets. But mostly they are becoming sociable. They begin to enjoy the company of other children; they like to laugh and act daft; they start to grasp the shocking truth that grown-ups cannot read their minds and sometimes need to have things explained. Times passage, too, begins to have meaning. They start to talk about the future and the past.
The past: Jody's past; the mental space from which it was Jane's mission to rescue her. Jody got slowly to her feet.
'Come on, Jody. Let me give you a hug.' Jane held out her arms. Jody stepped into them, keeping hold of the doll and leaving Grandpa's Handkerchief behind. Jane lifted her up, shocked by her lightness yet almost breathless with the weight of responsibility. 'Let's find the others, shall we?' she said."
Tomorrow: buy a copy. Or even buy one today.