Self’s Third Ruth Galloway

Self loves these books. She brought the first two with her to Northern Ireland (from a stack she’d ordered during the pandemic and never had the time to read). She bought two more when she got to Belfast. Now she’s reading The House at Sea’s End.

Ruth Galloway is now a mother. Her daughter, Kate, is a few months old. She is still juggling work (as a forensic archaeologist and university professor) and motherhood, not to mention fending off the fawning Baby Daddy. This scene is very droll. An acquaintance, Tatjana, drops by unexpectedly for a two-week stay:

. . . the baby, not content to remain snoozing picturesquely in the background, is making a bid for centre stage, cooing and emitting high-pitched yelps like a miniature cheerleader. Ruth thinks she is being rather sweet but she is scared to take her attention off Tatjana for too long. So she sits on the floor with Kate, who is propped up by cushions, occasionally handing her a brightly coloured toy which Kate ignores in favour of chewing the TV remote control. Tatjana has, so far, not looked in Kate’s direction once.

Nelson had stayed only a few minutes, long enough for Tatjana to pronounce him ‘interesting,’ which, Ruth discovers, is her highest term of praise.

“How come you are entertaining a policeman in the afternoon, she asked, raising her eyebrows slightly.

The House at the End of the Sea, p. 137

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