Me and Thee

Justine Jordan

  • MotherKind by Jayne Anne Phillips
    Cape, 292 pp, £15.99, September 2000, ISBN 0 224 05975 0

‘Everything happens at once’ in the year charted by Jayne Anne Phillips in MotherKind – her heroine Kate becomes and loses a mother. The book records tiny actions and reactions: Kate changes baby Tatie’s nappy and her mother’s sickroom flowers, spoonfeeds mashed-up banana to one and morphine to the other. She lives in an eternal present: ‘her childhood past had washed away from her, and the more recent past, between home and Matthew, was gone too. Nothing but now: her mother and Tatie in the blue armchair.’

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