You murdered me — Rachel Cusk’s ‘Arlington Park’

20 May 2007

Reading ‘Arlington Park’ Rachel Cusk’s fantastically gloomy and moribund novel about housewives living lives of luxury, comparative idleness and extreme depression in some miserable suburb or satellite town of London. It’s a brilliantly described novel which is very therapeutic to read because you think: my life is so much better than this! There’s a character in it, Juliet, a part-time teacher and housewife, who is married to a worthy inner-city teacher, who is very nice. Anyway, one of the best bits in the novel is when this miserable whiney teacher thinks that her husband, Benedict, the nicest guy around, has murdered her. Juliet says: ‘My husband Benedict murdered me. He was very gentle about it; it didn’t really hurt at all. In fact, I hardly knew it was happening.’

I found the novel utterly addictive and had to read it very quickly. Cusk has an amazing ability to create gothic misery out of the most mundane situations: my favourite kind of writing.

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