What could possibly link Syliva, a woman of today:
'Sylvia had studied obstetrics as a medical student. She had delivered twelve babies herself, and as a Junior House Officer completed a six-month gynaecological rotation. She knew considerably more than most educated middle-class women about the hormonal changes of the human reproductive cycle. She was enjoying a great deal of sexual activity, and not using contraception. Yet how did she react, when she discovered her pregnancy? She was stunned.'
with Ruby, a 1950's housewife unable to remember to buy tea:
'Ruby opened the letter and read, "You should of looked after him better. You cow." Well, it was true, after all, thought Ruby; was it still a poison pen letter if it was true?'
and with Iris:
‘We’re taking tea in the drawing room,’ Rob’s
mother had said, and disappeared, thank God; but there was no escape from her,
no matter how carefully Iris washed her hands and dried each finger she was
going to be ready eventually, and there was Rob, hanging about outside the
coat-place with his hands in his pockets.
‘She’s so what? She’s only my Mum.'
‘She hates me!’
Peripheral Vision is a powerful novel about love and the lack of it; about loss, mothering, sight and insight, from this prize-winning author.
Patricia Ferguson's last novel, It So Happens, was listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2005. Now read on.