Title: The Essence of the Thing
Author: St. John, Madeleine
Publisher: Fourth Estate, London
Publication Date: 1997
Edition: First Edition
Book Condition: F
Comments: Card covers.
Synopsis: There’s no nice way to say this … I’ve decided – that is to say, I’ve come to the conclusion – that we should part …’
And with that conclusion. Nicola’s troubles begin. She only nipped out to the off-licence to buy cigarettes, for God’s sake, and she comes back to find this stranger in her sitting room! He looks like Jonathan, even talks like Jonathan (though, lawyer that he is, she still can’t recall him expressing himself quite so stiffly and legalistically as this), but he can’t actually be Jonathan. Can he?
Solid as the Bank of England, steady as today’s Telegraph: the whole point of Jonathan is his predictability. How can this be happening? Where is the man she loves? The ultimate known quantity, how did he become such a mystery all of a sudden?
He’s a rat. says Susannah: a pig. prefers Lizzie – yet as her friends make their way through the animal kingdom in search of an adequate epithet, all a desolate Nicola can see is the same old Jonathan – strong, adorable, handsome, hers. Except that, apparently, he isn’t any more…
A sad tale, it’s true – but it has its funny side. You have to laugh when you see, as acutely, as elegantly as they’re captured here, the things women will do to hold onto love, and the things men will do to escape it.