Maggie has always been the white sheep of the Walsh family. Unlike her comically dysfunctional sisters, Rachel (heroine of Rachel's Holiday) and Claire (heroine of Watermelon), she married a decent man who adored her and found herself a solid career. Where Rachel was reckless and Claire dramatic, Maggie settled early for safety. Or so she believed -- until she discovers that her husband is having an affair and her boss is going to fire her. Suddenly, her perfectly organized life has become a perfect mess
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April 26, 2004
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Excerpt from Angels by Marian Keyes
I'd always lived a fairly blameless life. Up until the day I left my husband and then ran away to Hollywood, I'd hardly ever put a foot wrong. Not one that many people knew about, anyway. So when, out of the blue, everything just disintegrated like wet paper, I couldn't shake a wormy suspicion that this was long overdue. All that clean living simply isn't natural.
Of course, I didn't just wake up one morning and skip the country, leaving my poor sleepy fool of a husband wondering what that envelope on his pillow was. I'm making it sound much more dramatic than it actually was, which is strange because I never used to have a penchant for dramatics. Or a penchant for words like "penchant," for that matter.
But ever since the business with the rabbits, and possibly even before that, things with Garv had been uncomfortable and weird. Then we'd suffered a couple of what we'd chosen to call "setbacks." But instead of making our marriage stronger -- as always seemed to happen to the other luckier setback souls who popped up in my mother's women's magazines -- our particular brand of setbacks performed exactly as advertised. They set us back. They wedged themselves between Garv and me and alienated us from each other. Though he never said anything, I knew Garv blamed me.
And that was okay, because I blamed me too.
* * *
His name is actually Paul Garvan, but when I first got to know him we were both teenagers and nobody called anybody by their proper names. "Micko" and "Macker" and "Toolser" and "You big shithead" were some of the things our peers were known as. He was Garv, it's all I've ever known him as, and I only call him Paul when I'm extremely pissed off at him. Likewise, my name is Margaret but he calls me Maggie except when I borrow his car and scrape the side against the pillar in the multistory parking garage. (Something that occurs more regularly than you might think.)