A Sunday afternoon read – Rosie Wallace: The Sisters

Earlier this year, I talked to Rosie Wallace about her first two novels which I’d devoured in a couple of days over last Christmas.

Her third novel is still a work in progress but the Scotsman featured her short story The Sisters as part of its The Write Stuff series. Here’s a snippet:

The younger one has always been a chatterer. Silence is a vacuum to be filled with whatever thoughts are passing through her mind. As she wraps a china lamp base in old newspaper, she explains how her daughter could have been a doctor if the physics teacher had not had a nervous breakdown two months before the Highers. The elder, a thinker rather than a talker, reverts to childhood habits and ceases to listen, attention diverted to the faded print of the Matterhorn she has just removed from the wall. It goes in the box for the charity shop.

The younger one pauses for but a millisecond between sentences, then continues. ‘If you believe Colin Fry,’ she says, ‘they are all here, watching everything we do.’

The elder is now half listening. ‘Who is Colin Fry? And why are physics teachers watching us?’ She is looking round the room at the extensive display of ornaments which cover every available surface wondering which, if any, are of value.

‘Colin Fry! He’s a medium! He brings messages from the dead.’

In a very short time, you learn so much about the characters, their lives, the dynamic between them and what makes them tick. You are kept guessing about what sort of story it is and there’s a bit of a twist. It’s very well crafted and designed to evoke all sorts of emotions. It’s a treat to be enjoyed with a cup of tea.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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