The ‘pulling the rug’ trilogy by Jane Jago is a set of responses to the banana skins and unexpected bonuses we all find in our everyday lives. The three books have just gained cool new covers to celebrate the re-release of number three....
From ‘The Lassitude of Lilacs’ – a modern fable in pulling the rug iii about the futility of war and the redemptive quality of love…
They were playing croquet. Again. Fortunately for a small store of patience worn thin by pregnancy and the inane laughter of the ‘in crowd’, the weight of the heir on her much abused inner organs excused non-participation. Instead, she reclined in the cushioned comfort of an old steamer chair and allowed her mind to wander.
She closed her eyes, and it was as though she was transported back to another summer, in another garden, but with the same background laughter and the same heavy scent of lilac blossoms. There had, she remembered with diamond bright clarity, been tennis – and she and her father had beaten all opponents with a mixture of athleticism and barefaced cheating. Just as they had all thrown themselves into a variety of garden chairs, all bewailing the wartime shortage of gin, the gate had clicked and Bunty had hurried into the garden.
The scene played out on her closed eyelids as his tall, athletic figure strode across the grass and dropped to his knees in front of her.
“I’m sorry,” he said in a broken voice.
And at that second she knew.
She remembered putting her fingers across his mouth as if to stop the words, thinking in some foolish corner of her mind that if he didn’t say it it might not be so. But he took her hands in his and he did say it.
“It’s Archie, old thing. Shot down over Cologne. Went down in a fireball. Didn’t stand a chance.”
For a moment, the pain was as fierce as it had been on that day, and her hands moved to the tumulus of her pregnant belly drawing comfort from the life she carried….