To help her persistent daughter with her homework, Bola was finally reading David Copperfield. The book had first crossed her path as a recommended text in her own school days, but back then she only ever read a novel when it was impossible to avoid it. Anyway, in the 16th year of an unsatisfactory marriage, she finally read about the character, Barkis, and realised what her secret crush, Bosun, had been ‘willing’ to do, 18 years after his shy note.

That was when she uttered the terrible oath that dropped her daughter’s jaw, and ran to the window.


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