I for Isobel

by

Amy Witting

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on I for Isobel can help.

Isobel Callaghan Character Analysis

Isobel Callaghan is the novel’s vain, capricious, and creative protagonist. She is Margaret’s younger sister and May and Robert’s daughter. After suffering a childhood marked by trauma, poverty, and violence, the sixteen-year-old Isobel greets the death of her abusive mother with joy and finally strikes out on her own, moving to Sydney to earn a living and find her place in the world. Isobel is tormented by memories of her past, doubts about her own morality (instilled in her by her derisive and cruel mother), and a desire to find belonging. Isobel is a voracious reader who, in childhood, used books as a way to escape the trauma of her reality. Now, Isobel harbors secret aspirations to become a writer herself. Isobel also longs for connection with those around her, deprived as she was in her childhood of any meaningful or stable connections. She seeks comfort in her relationship with her landlady, Mrs. Bowers; with her coworkers at her job translating German mail for a glassworks company; and with a cool, aloof group of intellectuals she meets at a local café, who she believes hold the key to her literary aspirations. Through the people she meets, Isobel comes to discover that she contains multitudes—she is recovering from the trauma of her past, and as such often acts cruelly to others, but in her heart, she knows she is good and worthy. With a sharp wit, a fierce sense of independence, and a desire, above all, to find herself, Isobel is a character full of contradictions and complexities.

Isobel Callaghan Quotes in I for Isobel

The I for Isobel quotes below are all either spoken by Isobel Callaghan or refer to Isobel Callaghan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Text Publishing edition of I for Isobel published in 1989.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Mrs. Callaghan, too, kept [Isobel’s] birthday in mind and spoke of it now and then.

“January,” she said, “is too close to Christmas for birthday presents,” and later, serenely, “it is vulgar to celebrate birthdays away from home.”

Whenever she found a new argument against birthday presents for Isobel, a strange look of relief would appear on her face, and Isobel would be forced to accept, for the moment, that there would be no present.”

Related Characters: Mrs. May Callaghan (speaker), Isobel Callaghan
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

Birthdays, injustices, parents all vanished. [Isobel] sat on the floor reading till the noise of cups and saucers in the kitchen warned her that the grown-ups would be coming in for afternoon tea, then she went to the little room where she and Margaret slept, next to their parents’ bedroom. It was too hot there, but if she went outside to the cool shade of the fig tree, Caroline and Joanne Mansell would come asking her to play with them, or Margaret would want her to go for a swim. Besides, it wasn’t hot in Baker Street. What a lucky thing that she had found this new place in time to spend the birthday there. Presents didn’t matter so much, if life had these enchanting surprises that were free to everyone.

Page Number: 7-8
Explanation and Analysis:

Isobel was living in two worlds. Miss Halwood’s, where she belonged and things were solid and predictable, and the other one, where she was exulting at making her mother uncomfortable. That was a great pleasure but it was like gobbling sweets—she expected some sickness from it. Meanwhile there was the world of Sherlock Holmes, which was better than both of them. She said, “May I be excused, please?” and hurried back to her chair. She fished out the book from under the seat and went back to Baker Street.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan (speaker), Mrs. May Callaghan, Miss Halwood
Page Number: 12-13
Explanation and Analysis:

The sound of her mother's quick, foreboding tread made her push the box in a panic under her pillow. Now, she remembered: she had been told not to tell, and she had told. She had told Caroline, who had told Mr. Mansell, and retribution was coming, as her mother advanced with set face and luminous glare and began to slap her, muttering, “Don't you dare to cry. Ungrateful little bitch. Don't you dare to cry. You little swine, thankless little swine, you couldn't say thank you, couldn't even say thank you.” Slap, slap. “Don't open your mouth, don't you dare to cry.” There was not much to cry about, for her mother's intentions were far more violent than her blows. Her hands flapped weakly as if she was fighting against a cage of air.

Related Symbols: The Brooch
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

Isobel took the box from under the pillow, took out the brooch and looked at it while she rubbed her stinging legs. Why hadn’t her mother taken the brooch? It would have been so easy. Isobel could even supply the words she had dreaded to hear: “Give me that, you don’t deserve to have it. Come on, give it to me.” Why hadn’t she said them? Could it be that there were things her mother couldn’t do?

That idea was too large to be coped with. She put it away from her, but she took the brooch and pinned it care- fully to the neck of her dress. It was hers now, all right. She went and looked at it in the glass and stood admiring it. In one way or another, she would be wearing it all her life.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan, Mrs. May Callaghan
Related Symbols: The Brooch
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

There was a pause, so long that she thought it might be safe to pick up her knife and fork again, but as she stirred her mother said, “I want you to tell me what you are sulking about, Isobel.”

She was really frightened now, wondering how long she would hold out, foreseeing the moment when she would begin to scream and scream. She wasn't going to, not ever. She would think of grace and be still.

“Tell me.” Her mother's voice, which had been rising to a scream, turned calm and gracious again. Like somebody getting dressed. Isobel looked up and saw that her eyes were frantic bright. She doesn't want me to tell her, she wants me to scream. I do something for her when I scream.

Then she saw that her mother's anger was a live animal tormenting her, that she Isobel was an outlet that gave some relief and she was torturing her by withholding it.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan (speaker), Mrs. May Callaghan (speaker)
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

Isobel was left to witness her mother's sufferings, which were real and ludicrous. She walked about white-faced, repeating, “Who'd be a mother? Who'd be a mother? You do everything for them, you give up everything for them and what do you get for it? Forgotten as soon as it suits them, they're gone without a thought. Heartless ungrateful children.”

She spoke not to Isobel, but in her hearing, wanting her perhaps to repeat the lament to Margaret, or inviting her to a new alliance. Isobel kept her mind averted, but thought it was strange, as she speeded up her polishing of the kitchen floor, that she should be hurrying through the chores in order to desert this misery and go and read about saintliness and brotherly love. She could not help it; grace told her to withdraw and she did what grace demanded, though it was more of a holding position now than an inner joy.

Related Characters: Mrs. May Callaghan (speaker), Isobel Callaghan
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

“Take that dress off, Margaret,” said their mother from the doorway. “It belongs to Isobel.”

“But Isobel said I could have it.”

Isobel said, “Aunt Noelene will never know.”

Her mother gave her a look of hate as she walked

towards Margaret, who did not know what was happening and stood like a good little girl having a dress fitted till she heard the dull snap of threads and the tearing noise. She cried out then as if she had been hit.

“Damn you,” screamed Isobel. “Damn you, damn you, it was mine. It wasn't yours to tear. It was mine and I gave it to Margaret. Damn you!”

She saw the look of peace and relief on her mother's face as she walked away and she knew what she had done. The old sick closeness was back and she was the same old Isobel.

Margaret was sitting on her bed dressed in her slip, stroking the torn yoke and sobbing.

“It's only a dress,” said Isobel. She had lost more.

“Oh, you shut up. You didn't want it, anyhow.”

It wasn't only a dress. It was much more, and it was gone, and so was the state of grace.

At that moment, Isobel thought such things were not for either of them.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan (speaker), Mrs. May Callaghan (speaker), Margaret Callaghan (speaker), Aunt Noelene
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

Dead, thought Isobel, trying the word again. It still meant only silenced. There was no hope of calling up any decent feeling from her evil heart, which was rejoicing in the prospect of freedom and even of new shoes. She picked up Shakespeare, Byron, Keats and Shelley and carried them into the bedroom, where Margaret was sitting on her bed, dazed and weeping, silently and slowly tears dripping like blood from a cut finger.

“Do you mind if I take the Shakespeare? It isn't mine but I’d like to have it.”

Margaret shook her head, sending two tears running quickly down her cheeks. It wouldn't do to tell her to cheer up. Somebody should be giving Isobel the opposite advice. Yet there was in her, deeper than her relief, a paralyzing sorrow, not at her mother's death but at being unable to grieve at it. That one was going to stay with her; she looked for distraction from it in the cheerful business of packing and buying new shoes, but knew that any cheerfulness was, in the situation, shocking. She feared she had shocked Aunt Yvonne already. Perhaps the funeral would touch her feeling and make her a member of the human race.

Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

It was a commonplace little room but she was prepared to love everything in it: bed (slightly sagging), chair (straight), faded floral curtains at the window (her own window), combination wardrobe and dressing-table (lucky she didn't have many clothes), a grate in the corner, with a vase of paper flowers delivering the message that it was no longer used for fires, above it a shelf for her books. She unpacked them first: Keats, Shelley, Byron, Shakespeare, The Last Chronicle of Barset, from the library. She looked with regret at that. She had been reading the novels of Trollope and whenever she wasn't reading, no matter what was happening in the outside world, she was conscious of being in exile from Barsetshire. She resisted temptation and went on with her unpacking, having a modest ambition to meet life, to be adequate. She had an idea of a life of her own, like the room of her own, where she chose the furniture-no rages' no black passions, no buffeting from the world. […] Putting her clothes away in a drawer she saw her face in the glass, so happy and hopeful that the likeness to her mother, which seemed to her usually to be a curse from birth, seemed unimportant.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan, Mrs. May Callaghan
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

“When do you plan to be married, Rita?”

“In September. We don't want a long engagement. Stephen's firm are sending him to Melbourne and we want to be married and go together.”

Isobel heard this with dismay. This was the opportunity Aunt Noelene would expect her to grasp, seizing that wild horse money by the bridle as it passed. She lacked courage for the deed. If she did manage it, she would have to take dictation from Mr. Walter instead of checking invoices with Frank. This was life: no sooner had you built yourself your little raft and felt secure than it came to pieces under you and you were swimming again.

Related Characters: Olive (speaker), Rita (speaker), Isobel Callaghan, Aunt Noelene, Frank, Mr. Walter
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

“Do you ever think about being a writer?”

“What made you think of that?”

“Well. No need to bite my head off! You nearly made me drop a week's wages.” He brushed the packing away from a molded iridescent fruit bowl and set it on the table. […]

“I'm sorry I snapped.” She could offer no explanation either for the panic reaction.

“Well. You have this way of putting things. I thought of it when you said that about your little number fours. Summed it up in six words and made me mad, what's more. Made Olive madder, I'm thinking. Everyone can't do that.”

“I wish you'd drop it, Frank.”

“OK. But, to come back to it, what do you want out of life? What do you want to be? If you say Mr. Walter's secretary, I'll award myself a big horse laugh.”

'I want to be one of the crowd.'”

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan (speaker), Frank (speaker), Olive
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:

''Went very funny after the baby was born. Not the first one either, the third. Joe that would have been, got grown-up sons himself now. She was very bad for a while. She came out of it all right in the end.”

“I'm glad to hear that.” Mrs. Bowers' tone admitted that Mrs. Prendergast was not often the bringer of good news.

“It can take you in funny ways. There was the woman lived opposite us in Mudgee. Six weeks old the baby was and they were getting ready to go out. Her husband called out from the door, ‘Are you coming, Dorrie?’ ‘I won't be a minute, dear, I'm just popping the baby in the oven.’ He came running in and there was the baby greased all over and trussed up in the baking dish and the oven hot. He just got to it in time.”

Mrs. Bowers shrieked, 'Oh, my God!'

Related Characters: Mrs. Bowers (speaker), Mrs. Prendergast (speaker), Isobel Callaghan
Related Symbols: The Baby in the Baking Dish
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

She said to Joseph—in bed at night she humped her pillow to the shape of a shoulder and unpacked her thoughts for Joseph—“Suppose one is born bad—not by choice—the hand of the potter shook, you might say—why can't one choose to be different? I thought I could. I thought I could make my life into a room and choose what came into it. I was a bit above myself, wasn’t I? That's what monks and nuns do, with God and prayer and fasting and all that stuff. No job for an amateur. Besides, life isn't like that. It's more like swimming in a sea, with currents and undertows carrying you where you don't want to go.”

The currents and the undertows were mysterious evil passions, rage and envy; most of all an unconquerable sadness—no matter how willingly they accepted her—at being somehow disqualified, never to be truly one of them.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan (speaker)
Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:

You left the house thinking of freedom, of being a different person, seeing the world ahead of you, but you didn't go on, you went back. To fight the old fight and this time to win, to have the verdict set aside, to be the favored child.

Any rag will make a doll for the idiot in the attic.

Auden had a general in his head. (“But they've severed all the wires, and I don't know what the general desires.'”

Isobel had an idiot in the attic.

[…]

Back in her room, she sat on her bed and reflected. She was in a different position from Auden; she knew what the idiot desired, all right, and had to watch to see it didn't get it.

[…]

The idiot played its games with the real world and- and what was worse-it played them behind Isobel's back. Not any more, now that she knew. Could she do this, watch a part of herself and control it, fight against it all her life?

She was not too discouraged, the new knowledge giving her a feeling of strength. At least she knew where she was going wrong-no wonder the others disliked her, watching her suck up to Mrs. Bowers, taking what ought to be Madge's.

Idiot wants a mother.

Idiot can't have one.

Life is very difficult.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan, Mrs. Bowers, Madge
Page Number: 120-121
Explanation and Analysis:

The idea of losing a job was so alarming to Isobel that she could not leave the subject. “But what are you going to do? You have to have a job. You have to eat!”

Diana considered that idea carefully, then shrugged. “I've got some money saved.”

“And when that's gone?”

She sounded quite belligerent. Interesting. Here was someone feeble enough to bring out the bully in Isobel.

“What do I care? I don't care about anything. I'm finished. I'm as good as dead.”

Isobel reflected. “You know, I think that's right. I mean, if you take life as change and development—and I think it must be, life must be always changing... if you had a life without change, it might be as good as death, I suppose... well, when you can't change, I suppose you are as good as dead.”

She was so interested in this idea that she forgot Diana and spoke with detachment, then was startled at the fury in Diana's eyes. True to form, she made a note: masochists prefer to devise their own sufferings.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan (speaker), Diana (speaker)
Page Number: 126-127
Explanation and Analysis:

Later, she thought wistfully of the vanished prospect of being Trevor's girlfriend, of belonging... Couldn't she have pretended? Would it have been enough, if she had done everything he wanted? That would have been no trouble; she would have been quite ready always to do what Trevor wanted. But she would have had to know what he did want. It would be like being a spy in a foreign country, having to pass for a native. She would be found out. The penalty for being found out appeared as Diana, walking and watching, obsessed with suffering. That moment when you found out they hated you and you did not know why—any deprivation was better than that.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan, Trevor, Diana
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:

“It was an accident, on his bike. I don't know much about it; he was badly hurt and he died this morning in hospital. Helen asked me to come and tell you.”

Absent-mindedly Diana pulled open the drawer of the bedside table, got out a hairbrush and began to brush her hair.

Shock. People do very funny things when they're shocked. But the feeling that was coming over Diana did not seem like shock. It was profound; she was thinking hard and breathing deeply. She dropped the hairbrush and steadied herself with one hand on the pillow.

This must be what they called being in travail. It was a private process; Isobel should go away and let her get on with it, but she did not know how to do that.

The feeling was appearing now: relief. Isobel was the prison governor who had brought her news of her reprieve. She said, “Can I get you something? Make you a cup of tea?'

What falsehood. I am thinking of what she ought to

be feeling.

Diana too thought Isobel had made a social error. “No, thank you. I'm quite all right.” She looked with surprise at the hairbrush and put it back in the drawer.

All right is no word for it. She's glad he's dead. She feels the way I felt when my mother died. He wasn't a human being to her, he was a thorn in her side, a stone in her shoe.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan (speaker), Diana (speaker), Mrs. May Callaghan, Nick
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:

You could change your name, have your face altered, change your country and your language, but in the end you would resurrect your self.

Nevertheless, she felt cheerful as she packed her belongings. She was glad to be escaping from a grief not her own, she looked forward to the foolish pleasure of buying a saucepan and a frying pan, a cup and saucer and a plate, a knife, a fork and a spoon and two tea towels. Into the suitcase she put Shakespeare, Keats, Byron (now known as facile), Shelley, Auden. Though she knew the passage of Auden well, she found the place and read it with a grin.

“It's no use turning nasty

It's no use turning good.

You're what you are and nothing you do

will get you out of the wood.”

She shut the book and put it in the suitcase. One is never quite alone.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

The tears were coming slowly. How could tears come from so deep, as if she was a tree with tears welling up from its roots? Then they came in a roaring flood that drowned thought; she put her cheek against the rock, which was as rough as a cat's tongue and unyielding, but she was too far gone to feel any perverse pleasure in that. Her sobs were so loud that even in this wasteland she had to put her hands over her mouth to muffle them; when her mind sobered up her body went on snuffling and heaving along ten years of roadway.

I am a writer. I am a writer.

Too late. It must be too late. The poor little bugger in the baking dish; nobody came in time.

Suppose I tried? Suppose I went through the motions? The writer might come back.

You've tried that with love. It doesn't work.

But that was other people, too. This is me.

The crying had slackened. There was such a feeling of limbs stretching, of hands unbound, she knew she could choose to be a writer. A pen and an exercise book, that was all it took, to be a rotten writer, anyhow. Good or rotten' that came later.

It meant giving in to the word factory. That frightened her, because the word factory was such a menace. Now she understood why the idea of being press-ganged was so alarming.

Oh, well. If you can't lick 'em join 'em.

Maybe that was what the word factory was all about, the poor little bugger trying to get out of the baking dish.

Related Characters: Isobel Callaghan, Mrs. Adams
Related Symbols: The Baby in the Baking Dish
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire I for Isobel LitChart as a printable PDF.
I for Isobel PDF

Isobel Callaghan Character Timeline in I for Isobel

The timeline below shows where the character Isobel Callaghan appears in I for Isobel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The Birthday Present
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
A week before Isobel Callaghan’s ninth birthday, her mother tells her that there will be no presents this year,... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel’s family arrives for their summer holiday at a lakeside boarding house. The Callaghans always spend... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
...Callaghan believes that it is too close to Christmas for birthday presents. Moreover, she tells Isobel, “it is vulgar to celebrate birthdays away from home.” Mrs. Callaghan is constantly coming up... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
This year, Isobel’s mother has warned her not to go around the lake house telling people it’s her... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel is timid by nature, but still she doesn’t know how she’ll be able to resist... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Now in a “reading mood,” Isobel goes to the boarding house’s lounge, where there are bookshelves full of books. Isobel has... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
As Isobel reads, she feels infinitely lucky to have found a “new place in time” where she... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Despite the glory of the Holmes book, Isobel can’t help but think how nice it would be if she woke up to a... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
In the morning, Isobel wakes up early, and runs out to the tree to tell it that it is... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel washes her face, combs her hair, and heads to one of her special spots—an old... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Miss Halwood continues asking Isobel about her reading habits and urges her to look up any words she doesn’t understand... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel feels she is living in two different worlds—one is Miss Halwood’s, where Isobel belongs and... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
...back to the library to exchange the first Sherlock Holmes book for the second one, Isobel runs into her mother. Mrs. Callaghan instructs Isobel to go down to the shop and... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
At lunch, everyone else in the lake house is seated—only Isobel’s place is empty, and there is a small parcel wrapped in pink paper and tied... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel opens the present. Inside the box is a gold brooch shaped like a basket filled... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
When Isobel is finished eating, she asks to be excused, and runs away to her bedroom with... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
When Mrs. Callaghan finishes beating Isobel, she leaves the room. Isobel takes the box back out from beneath the pillow and... (full context)
Chapter 2: False Idols and a Fireball
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Isobel swears that once, when she was younger, she saw a fireball. One afternoon, locked out... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Isobel concedes that she is indeed a liar—she often feels that a lie is often “the... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
One day, at Isobel’s school, she forgets her composition book. One of the nuns tells Isobel she is “not... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Isobel believes that she has a “lying sort of voice,” and cannot make herself sound trustworthy... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Isobel gets caught up in her latest story but abruptly stops it when she suddenly realizes... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel cannot get back to the story in her head after so much deep, tumultuous thought,... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
The next day, Isobel is not sent back to school, and after a few days, she is transferred to... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
One day, Isobel, Margaret, and Mrs. Callaghan dress in their best clothes and head to the bus to... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Grace of God and the Hand-Me-Down
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
One hot summer Sunday during Mass, “the grace of God” descends upon Isobel. She feels it has come to her by mistake. Isobel has hardly been paying attention... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel decides to try to stop fighting with Margaret, talking back, and being lazy. She knows... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
That afternoon, Isobel dutifully sets the table for lunch. Margaret comes in and reminds Isobel that it’s her... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
At Auntie Ann’s, Isobel drinks lemonade and reads. She is ready for a lovely afternoon, but soon realizes that... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
After dinner back at home, Isobel prepares to clear the plates, but her mother snaps at her, insisting she let Margaret... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
The days pass quietly as Isobel feels the “inward light” of grace within her. In the middle of the week, over... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
As Isobel’s mother continues to urge her to tell the truth, Isobel fears she will lose her... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel insists, once and for all, that she isn’t sulking. Her mother leaves the table and... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
One night, Margaret goes to bed early. When Isobel comes up to the room she finds her sister in bed propped against pillows, practicing... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
As the weeks pass by, Isobel feels bad for Margaret, as her sister does not sense the impending danger as she... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
...her belongings, and Mrs. Callaghan explodes into a tirade, asking why she ever had children. Isobel thinks her mother’s voice sounds funny, and a laugh escapes her. She is afraid she... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Isobel begins studying the saints on Saturday afternoons in order to learn more about the “rules”... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
...at the house of a new friend named Louise—the alliance between Margaret and Mrs. Callaghan, Isobel notes, is “gone for ever.” Isobel is left alone with her mother often and is... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
One afternoon, Isobel and Margaret come home from school to see their Aunt Noelene’s car parked in the... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel and Margaret enter the house—their mother and their aunt are at the kitchen table, and... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel and Margaret realize that “disaster [is] coming.” They exchange a worried glance. Mrs. Callaghan says... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
...Mrs. Callaghan sits staring into space. After a few moments, Margaret asks if she and Isobel can look at the clothes; their mother tells them they can do what they like.... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel knows that she must give up the dress and make a sacrifice in order to... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
...if she can really have the dress. Though it is hard for her to do, Isobel says that she can, and urges her to take it upstairs and try it on.... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel begins screaming at her mother, breaking her state of grace. She notices that a look... (full context)
Chapter 4: Glassware and Other Breakable Items
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Aunt Yvonne and Aunt Noelene are in the kitchen, talking about what Margaret and Isobel will wear to their mother’s funeral. The girls need new clothes and shoes, and Noelene... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel is packing her books up into a box which will be stored at Aunt Noelene’s—she... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
...the funeral, though, things are no better. As the coffin is lowered into the ground, Isobel urges herself to “feel something,” but only feels joy “flaring like a great red flower”... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Back at the house, Aunt Yvonne and Aunt Noelene discuss with Margaret and Isobel what the girls are going to do. Isobel has a job interview lined up for... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Aunt Yvonne, Margaret, and Isobel take a taxi ride to the boarding house where Isobel will be staying. Aunt Yvonne... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
A tall elderly woman with ginger hair opens the door—Mrs. Bowers, the landlady. She tells Isobel she’s been expecting her and invites her in. She offers Isobel a cup of tea... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
...with those people,” and Mrs. Bowers answers only that it “doesn’t do any harm.” As Isobel carries her case upstairs, she wonders who “those people” are. Isobel decides that Madge must... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel catches sight of her face in the mirror, and notes that she looks so happy... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel watches as three men and two women take their seats around the dinner table. A... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
As dinner goes on, Isobel attempts to jump into the conversation, but she finds that her remarks are slightly off-putting... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Isobel stays upstairs and continues unpacking, slightly sad that she can’t stay up reading in her... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
At 8:30 A.M. the next morning, Isobel—pretending in her head, for purposes of self-confidence, that she is Maeve Callaghan—strides into the office... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Olive returns to take Isobel from Mr. Walter’s office and bring her back to the small room at the front,... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
As Isobel gets to work, she enjoys losing herself in the “stories” of the letters she is... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Mr. Richard eventually walks away, but soon after, Isobel finds herself up against some German words she does not know, and realizes she does... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
At lunch, Isobel visits a bookshop and picks up a German dictionary. She brings it to the register... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel visits Aunt Noelene, and the two discuss Isobel’s finances. Aunt Noelene offers to pay for... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Noelene fears that Isobel has started off on the wrong foot at her company and is not being compensated... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Aunt Noelene takes a phone call, and Isobel sits alone in the kitchen, marveling at how her aunt has “tamed money” and made... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel returns to work and is off put by how frequently Mr. Richard comes to stand... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
At the boarding house, Isobel is more at home in the kitchen most nights than the drawing room, and enjoys... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel takes a typing class but finds it miserable. She is better in shorthand and dictation,... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Going to the college for her typing classes has brought Isobel the “pleasure of eating out,” and she frequents a nearby café where she eats fish... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
...shows up to the office on Monday and announces that she is engaged. At lunchtime, Isobel joins Rita and the other girls in the showroom, where the staff eats their sandwiches... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
After the others go back to work, Olive holds Isobel back. She advises her not to be so friendly with Frank, who is a communist,... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Two days later, Isobel’s “crowd” appears. She is sitting in a coffee shop in town when a group of... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel thinks she recognizes one of the girls from somewhere, and wishes she could remember her... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
The boy opposite Vinnie asks Isobel to come and join them, and offers to bring her things over to their table... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel returns to the boarding house, feeling as if she has finally found people who speak... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
...“greased all over and trussed up in the baking dish”—he got there just in time. Isobel is seized with “anguish” for the baby in the story. (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
All week, Isobel thinks of the group she met in the café. She tries to find out the... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
...to an upcoming ball, Kenneth recites a dark poem of his own composition in response. Isobel, confused and startled, tries not to laugh. Kenneth then begins telling a story about writers... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Trevor walks Isobel nearly to the boarding house, and asks her why she doesn’t attend university. She says... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel, for the first time, feels alive. On Sundays she goes to the library and checks... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
...leaps up and congratulates Madge and Arthur, as do Mr. Watkin and Tim and Norman. Isobel tells Madge that she likes her ring—it is not a diamond, but a dark striped... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Sure enough, when she returns to the boarding house, Isobel is lured into the kitchen, where she must sit and listen to Mrs. Bowers laments... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Moreover, the other boarders have begun to act with hostility towards Isobel and even making fun of her clothing. Isobel laments the cruel treatment to “Joseph” each... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
...about it except to “wait until [the girl at the window] gets tired of it.” Isobel realizes that the girl at the window is Diana—the “past participle.” Isobel is curious about... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
...to their apartment, which the group colloquially calls Fifty-one, for its street address. They ask Isobel if she is coming along, and she goes with them. At Fifty-one, Janet introduces Isobel... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
...If he takes up with anyone else, Janet says, Diana will be “bad as ever.” Isobel thinks of Nick as “an exiled prince,” driven out of his own kingdom by a... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Trevor invites Isobel upstairs to his bedroom to look at some books. Isobel is panicked by the invitation,... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
...door, looking angry, and tells the boarders that one of them hasn’t changed their sheets. Isobel realizes it is her, and offers to run up and do it straight away. Mrs.... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
As Isobel returns to the room, she reflects on the ways in which the “idiot” has played... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel hears Madge’s footsteps and voice outside, and decides to go and see what Madge is... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
...of manuscript while Janet watches them. The atmosphere inside is peaceful and buoyant, and as Isobel sits down with her friends, Janet tells her that Trevor and Nick have gone away... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Once Isobel is upstairs, Helen comes to Trevor’s door—she tells Isobel that Diana is at the front... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Diana becomes irate, believing that Nick is here in the house. Isobel insists that Nick is away for the weekend. Diana collects herself and insists that though... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel asks Diana what she’s going to do for money—Diana says that she doesn’t care, though,... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Together, Diana and Isobel walk down the road. Diana invites Isobel to come over to her house and have... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel finds herself thinking that Diana lit up at the bus stop because she wanted to... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
After dinner, Isobel is hit with the fear that Diana herself has a “date” tonight—she fears Diana is... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel wants to go to Fifty-One to see if she can find anything out about Diana,... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Meanwhile, back at the boarding house, Mrs. Bowers is angry with Isobel. Isobel accepts her landlady’s ire passively, thinking that after all, she wanted Madge’s place—and now... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
At the café that Saturday, there is no talk of Diana—Isobel figures that if she had died, the group would be talking about her. Trevor is... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel wishes she could have pretended to want Trevor so that she could have been his... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
On Monday morning, at the office, there is a phone call for Isobel. She picks it up—it is Helen calling to tell her that Nick has died. Helen... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel’s coworkers bring her tea and help her look at maps to navigate her way to... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel gets off the train in Diana’s neighborhood and finds her way to Diana’s “narrow, dingy... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel heads to Fifty-one, though she does not want to. Grief, she feels, is a terrible... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Helen and Isobel sit quietly in the living room as they listen to Nick’s mother’s tortured screams coming... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
That night, Isobel tells Mrs. Bowers that she’ll be leaving at the end of the week. Isobel thinks... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel begins feeling cheerful as she packs up her belongings in her room. She is glad... (full context)
Chapter 5: I for Isobel
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel wakes up from a pleasant dream to find herself staring at a strange, ornate ceiling... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
A man named Michael followed Isobel out of the party and asked if she wanted to come home with him—Isobel accepted,... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel lists reasons for doing “things like this”—meaning one-night stands. She thinks of the “dubious” connection... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Isobel carefully places the book back on the shelf. Michael lies back and shuts his eyes;... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel runs for a city-bound bus. She walks to the back and lets the new book... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Isobel gets off the bus in the center of town, grabs a coffee, and then goes... (full context)
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel returns to the rooming house where’s she’s staying, and tries to buoy herself as she... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Isobel looks around her dingy room, thinking of how she could spruce it up. There is... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Isobel runs out to the shop and purchases all the supplies she needs for embroidery work.... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel feels herself pulled back toward the book—she knows she must finish it. She opens it... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel traces a pattern for her embroidery. She knows that tomorrow she must go home to... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
The next day, after lunch, Isobel gets ready to return to her hometown. It is only two miles away, but she... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Isobel gets off the bus at the main street of her home suburb. She is amazed... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Isobel is assaulted by a memory of an arithmetic test in school. She got every question... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel walks out of the church and experiences another memory—the moment she received her state of... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel is mildly disappointed that religious was, after all, the meaning behind her connection to the... (full context)
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Mrs. Adams asks Isobel what she’s doing with herself, and Isobel answers that she’s working at an importer’s office.... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Mrs. Adams brings tea and biscuits to the table, and tells Isobel she has something she wants to show her. She leaves the room and returns with... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Mrs. Adams tells Isobel that the poem “thrilled” her—she loved the cat very much, and when the poem was... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel realizes that her parents never wanted a writer in the house—they never wanted anyone who... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel finishes her tea and thanks Mrs. Adams—she knows she has to leave soon, as she... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
Isobel worries that it is too late for her to pursue her dream, but as the... (full context)
Storytelling, Fiction, Narrative, and Escape Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
After purchasing the book, Isobel heads home. Back in her room, she opens up the notebook and begins writing a... (full context)
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
The next morning at work, Isobel’s friends ask her how her weekend was. Unable to tell them all she has been... (full context)