Ordinary Miracles has that rare combination of depth, honesty and wit…and all of this backed by a deliciously soft, gentle and loving humour…If you try one new author, try Grace Wynne-Jones.
A sharp, funny, moving novel and an exhilarating invitation to step out of quiet desperation and re-discover the magic in life and in love.
Funny, heartwarming and special.
Ordinary Miracles is about relationships and love and sex and a little bit of guilt. Jasmine is a worried and witty heroine…an engagingly high-spirited and perceptive debut.
- Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Read an Excerpt
I can’t believe I’ll be forty next month.
Forty seems something you should be ready for – not something that lands smug and like-it-or not in your life – along with Gillian McKeith.
Bruce bought me one of her books to boost my morale. It’s not the kind of publication I would have purchased myself. I tend towards books with embarrassing titles such as No Need to Panic: Courageous Acts of Change in Women’s Lives. Still, it was a kind thought. One of the occasional small acts that show Bruce may still love me in his way, though there isn’t much romance left in our relationship. ‘You know what, Jasmine,’ he announced happily on our nineteenth anniversary, ‘one of the great pleasures of marriage is being with someone you can fart with.’
When he came he used to shout ‘Oh God!’ These days he just says ‘Ah’. He scarcely glances at me when I’m in the shower. When we first got married he used to love the way I squeezed spermicide around the inside of my diaphragm. I did it with such fierce concentration, he said, that I looked like I was making an airfix model. Now he likes watching me watch television. He says I make funny faces without knowing it.
I like that he likes that. And I like that he thinks he can sing when he can’t. But like doesn’t make my heart leap. Like isn’t what that woman felt when that photographer from the National Geographic landed on her doorstep in Madison County. Of course it’s nice to day-dream that exactly the same thing might happen here in Glenageary but, frankly, there aren’t enough bridges. There are lots of burned ones all right, but you can’t photograph those.
Now that my daughter Katie’s at college in Galway the mornings seem very quiet. I miss that moment when, having got her off to school, I made myself a cuppa and turned on the radio. Back then time to myself was something I snatched and savoured – now there’s a lot of it about and I must work out what to do with it.
Of course I have my animal rights and adult literacy, and then there’s the housekeeping and fantasising about the actor Mell Nichols. And there’s missing people – missing myself even – that takes up a lot of time.
Sometimes, when I feel like this, I go upstairs and open the cupboard where I keep Katie’s toys. I gave some away but I’ve kept the ones I liked. I wind up the little hen and watch her pecking her way along the carpet and falling over, and then I give Teddy a hug and tell him not to be lonely, that I still care.
You wouldn’t think to look at me that all this stuff is going on in my head. Apparently I appear very settled and cheerful – not at all wistful. The thing is I don’t think I can keep all this to myself much longer.
I think it may start leaking out.
It’s time for my morning cuppa. I plug in the kettle and turn on the radio, where a woman is talking about how her husband urinates in the bath. Then the news comes on and I remember I’m supposed to be meeting Susan and Anne at eleven. I wonder if I should change out of my jeans, but I don’t have time.
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