Adore: A Novella by Doris Lessing

By Doris Lessing

Pals, sons, stunning and extreme amorous affairs . . .

Roz and Lil were top buddies in view that formative years. yet their bond stretches past ordinary bounds while those middle-aged moms fall in love with each one other's teenage sons--taboo-shattering passions that final for years, until eventually the ladies finish them, vowing to have a good previous age. With Adore, Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, once more proves her unequalled skill to seize the reality of the human situation.

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Now what you want is a nice NEHI grapepop,” said the woman, lumbering away. The giggles swelled to honest laughter, and Joel’s ears turned a humiliated pink. He wondered if the woman was a lunatic. And his eyes scanned the sour-smelling room as if it were a madhouse. There were calendar portraits of toothy bathing beauties on the walls, and a framed certificate which said: This is to certify that Roberta Velma Lacey won Grand Prize in Lying at the annual Double Branches Dog Days Frolic. Hanging from the low ceiling were several poisonous streamers of strategically arranged flypaper, and a couple of naked lightbulbs that were ornamented with shredded ribbons of green-and-red crepe paper.

Nobody ever sees any of them Skullys. Why, the Lord himself could be living there with none the wiser. Are you kin to . ” but this was cut short by a terrible, paralyzing wail, and wild crashing in the all-around darkness. Idabel bounded into the road from the underbrush. She was flailing her arms and howling loud and fierce. ” her sister screamed, but Joel did nothing, for his heart was lodged somewhere in his throat. Then he turned to check Jesus Fever’s reaction, but the old man still snoozed; and strangely the mule had not bolted with fright.

Together they left the store and walked silently along the wet pavement, he holding a calico umbrella above his mother, who carried a sack of tangerines. They passed a house where a piano was playing, and the music sounded sad in the grey afternoon, but his mother remarked what a pretty song. And when they reached home she was humming it, but she felt cold and went to bed, and the doctor came, and for over a month he came every day, but she was always cold, and Aunt Ellen was there, always smiling, and the doctor, always smiling, and the uneaten tangerines shriveled up in the icebox; and when it was over he went with Ellen to live in a dingy two-family house near Pontchartrain.

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