Even if I were to hold nothing back they would be left wanting … they deserve so much more than the fragmentary bits that I staple together, daily, into a person,' she writes. That is so revealing. Ratcliffe seems to be all over the place — within this strange, jumpy narrative as well as in her real, messy life. No wonder she is always making lists: the contents of handbags; what's left in a Lost Property Office; what's left in her own fridge; old lovers, the stages of her marriage; the mind-numbing 'tiny boredoms' of motherly routine; moments of domestic strife.
Subjects pile up.
We visit Brief Encounter of course , speculate about the children's book that Anna Karenina may have been writing and had in her red bag when she jumped under the train, and so on. It is as if Ratcliffe is trying to anchor herself by means of nervous itemising, to keep her panic, her feverish distraction at bay.
You're just settling into one when the train lurches off from the station and you long for the stop you've just missed. It's sad but irritating when Ratcliffe wonders again why she spends so much time away from her children, instead looking out of train windows and writing. You feel like giving the exhibitionist a couple of books on gratitude and mindfulness. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. It's never an easy ride on the love train!
About Mike Greenblatt
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