An hour or so later, the sun coming up, Delph said, “Here’s what I think. Midnight. New Year’s Eve. It’s a good idea. We skip out before this whole Y2K thing. Meanwhile we have about six months to write that book we’ve always wanted to write. About the three generations.”
That’s how it began. We thought we’d write about Lenz and Richard and our mother. Those deaths. Not ours.
“We would have to work steadily and faithfully,” Vee said.
“Evenings,” Delph said.
“Weekends,” said Lady.
“And full-time, after we quit our jobs,” said Delph.
Lady nodded. “And if during that time you happen to change your mind, Vee, or—who knows?—maybe they come up with some kind of viable treatment . . .”
“Vee-able treatment,” Delph said, soft little-girl voice.
Vee smiled, but shook her head
“I said if,” said Lady. “If they do . . . then we reassess.”
“All right,” Vee said. “New Year’s Eve. That’s my deadline. And I do mean deadline.”
“And mine,” Lady said. “Have you not been hearing me?”
“We’re not letting you go alone,” Delph said.
You have survived New Year’s Eve. Now is the time to hibernate with a good book. There is none better – and more topical – than Judith Claire Mitchell’s heart-breaking, hilarious, unforgettable novel about three sisters setting out explicit plans not to survive New Year’s Eve. Far more than their suicide note, it is the book they’ve always wanted to write. About the three generations preceding theirs, it tells the story their fascinating, cursed family descending from Lenz Alter, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose work led to the invention of the poison gas used first in the trenches during the First World War and then in the gas chambers during the Second. On top of that, and against all the odds, it is a hugely entertaining, strangely uplifting read.
Here at 4th Estate, New Year’s Eve marked the paperback publication of A Reunion of Ghosts and like us, Waterstones think you should all be reading it – selecting it as one of the eight titles in their Book Club.
Head over to their website to find out what they thought of it.
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