The Italian Idyll

While Nelson’s wife is having playtime with her boy toy back in England, Ruth and Nelson go sightseeing. And then he goes home. It’s so simple, and so poignant really, the relationship between the two.

These Italian scenes are tinged with melancholy. Self really loves the writing; very understated, but so evocative!

Here is Ruth watching her daughter draw:

Shona goes off in high spirits, wearing white jeans and rope-soled sandals that don’t look ideal for rough terrain. Kate immediately settles down happily with her felt tips and draws a succession of pictures of Italy. “It’s a fresco,” she says. “Cathbad told me about them.” Ruth watches her daughter, lying on the floor in the circle of sunshine (the way Flint does at home), absorbed in her work. She loves reading and drawing and hasn’t had enough time to do either this holiday; Louis is always interrupting or breaking something. Still, the two have got on very well, considering.

The Dark Angel, p. 228

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