This way up, by Paige Nick
Paige Nick' book This way up is about two most different South African women. Stella, a woman who seems to have everything except the perfect job. And youngster Poppy, hitchhiking across America searching for the next big thrill.
[...] As long as she'd known him they'd made the trade the second their breakfast plates were placed on the table in front of them. Stella would scoop up the fried tomato, careful not to leave any pips behind, and dump it onto Max's plate. Then she'd spoon up the mushrooms from his plate and deposit them on her own -she wasn't allowed to do it with a knife or fork either, lest, heaven forbid, she pierced a mushroom and its juices contaminated the rest of his breakfast. He was such a baby about it; he didn't even like his cutlery touching them, which is why the rule was that she managed the entire exchange. Sure, they could have simply asked the waitress not to include the offending items on each plate, but the swap had become something of a ritual. And, of course, this way, if all went according to plan, it meant that they each got two portions of the food they liked, and none of the food they didn't. It was a comfortable situation. Just like their marriage. Stella leant back in her chair with her pencil in her mouth and did the maths. She and Max had been married for exactly six hundred and seventy-two hours. Stella had never consciously planned on counting the hours. It had started out innocently enough: she remembered holding his hand at the wedding reception, looking up lovingly into her new husband's eyes with a goofy smile and commenting that they'd been husband and wife for an hour. And then suddenly it had been five hours. And then they'd been Mr and Mrs de Villiers for twenty-four hours. And now here she was, back from honeymoon, firmly ensconced in the day-to-day routine of real life, and suddenly married to Max for four weeks. Which was six hundred and seventy-two hours in total. Not that anybody was counting. Their wedding photograph perched on the edge of Stella's desk in a gilt frame, to remind her of the most amazing day of her life. The warm memory of it made her smile whenever she caught a glimpse of it. Their honeymoon in Mauritius had been wonderful too. She loved Max. The fact that he was a primary school teacher was nice. The fact that he was strong, and clever, and sort of handsome was nice. And he didn't mind if she didn't always shave her legs so much in winter and sometimes in summer as well, that was also nice. Together they'd settled into a very nice married life. As far as Stella was concerned, Max was a pretty typical South African guy. He loved his biltong, his sport (especially rugby) and his braai. He was an only child and his mother, Eileen, had spoilt him terribly growing up, and now somehow Stella had subconsciously slipped right into Eileen's role. She had no recollection of how it had happened, they'd never actually discussed the running of the household, but she did all the shopping and cooking and cleaning during the week after work. And then they usually went out with friends on a Saturday night and ordered pizzas on Sunday night from Baccini's, a local Italian restaurant at the very top of Kloof Street, six minutes away from their flat. Max always always always had the one with salami, ham and bacon and Stella always always always had the one with spinach, feta and avocado (when it was in season). And so, even after only being married for just six hundred and seventy-two hours, they had managed to settle into a very definite routine. [...]
This is an excerpt from the novel This way up, by Paige Nick.
Title: This way up
Author: Paige Nick
Publisher: The Penguin Group (South Africa)
2nd edition. Cape Town, South Africa, 2011
ISBN 9780143528753 / ISBN 978-0-14-352875-3
Paperback, 13 x 20 cm, 400 pages
Nick, Paige im Namibiana-Buchangebot
How do you tell which way is up when you don't even really know where you are?