The Cement Garden
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In this tour de force of psychological unease--now a major motion picture starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sinead Cusack--McEwan excavates the ruins of childhood and uncovers things that most adults have spent a lifetime forgetting--or denying. "Possesses the suspense and chilling impact of Lord of the Flies."--Washington Post Book World.
I felt like leaving. Chas was saying something about a horse but Derek did not reply or even turn his head to look at him. As soon as Derek was near the table Greg bent down low to aim his opening shot. He had a brown leather jacket with a big tear in one arm and his hair was tied at the back in a ponytail. I wanted him to win. The white ball drifted the length of the table, dislodged one of the reds and returned to its starting point. Derek took off his jacket and gave it to Chas to hold. He
Julie, still laughing, sat astride me, took hold of my penis and pulled it into her. It was done very quickly and we were suddenly quiet and unable to look at each other. Julie held her breath. There was something soft in my way and as I grew larger inside her it parted and I was deep inside. She gave out a little sigh and knelt forward and kissed me lightly on the lips. She lifted herself slightly and sank down. A cool thrill unfurled from my belly and I sighed too. Finally we looked at each
were gathered around the lift shaft. They lolled against the walls without talking. They were waiting for someone to come down in the lift. I said, “I’ll go back then.” I stopped. Julie shrugged and made a sudden movement with her hand that made it clear she was leaving me behind. Back on our street I met Sue. She walked with a book held open in front of her. Her satchel was strapped tight and high across her shoulders. Tom walked a few yards behind. From the look on his face it was clear there
stared past her head at the ceiling. I was barely out of my dream. “Look at me,” she said. “I want to look at your eyes.” I looked into her eyes and they roved anxiously across my face. I saw my own swollen reflection. “Have you looked at your eyes in a mirror lately?” she said. “No,” I said untruthfully. “Your pupils are very large, did you know that?” I shook my head. “And there are bags under your eyes even though you’ve just woken up.” She paused. Downstairs I could hear the others
peeling potatoes. Later, when we sat down to eat, there was strained silence instead of the usual row. When I looked across at Sue she giggled. Julie would not look at us, and when she spoke it was in a low voice to Tom. When she left the room for a minute to take a tray of food upstairs, Sue and I kicked each other under the table and laughed. But we stopped when we heard her coming back down. Tom did not like these evenings without his mother. Julie made him eat everything on his plate, and he