The Innocent Moon (A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, Book 9)
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Phillip Maddison emerges from the war feeling overwhelmed by the powers of destruction. He resumes his old life but feels unsettled and, seeking solace, pursues a series of adventures with young women. Then he meets Barley, whose freshness and openness seem to offer something different.
principle that needs must when the devil drives. Landlord, three pints, if you please!” Julian raised his elbow and literally poured beer down his throat; then placing the empty glass on the counter, asked for another. “Come on, you chaps, drink up!” “One pint is enough for me, Julian, in this cold weather.” “How about you, Willie?” “No more for me, thanks.” An air of arrogance came upon Julian’s face; he hesitated, then picking up his florin, put it back in his pocket saying, “The sun is
voice of my mother. My pen-nib has jabbed into the paper.) “Oh, come in!” I call out, with concealed savageness. She brings in a plate of stewed cherries and blancmange. “So nice, dear,” she coos, timid to her son. “Do eat them.” (I am still her little boy.) “No thanks, Mother, I really don’t want them.” “Oh”—with disappointment—“I saved them on purpose for you.” “No thanks, really….” She goes out, timidly and quietly. I am a beast—but do not care. On Phillip’s first morning in Monks House the
the night on the iron seats, only to be moved along by policemen. The following night he spent on a leather bed in Rowton House, which cost a shilling; but the smells, groans, snores and mutterings of the tramps in the doss-house were enough: that semi-romantic experiment was not repeated. Jan. 18. I am quite happy in my old room at home, overlooking the garden. There must be another character in my climactic novel: an elderly man, egotistical, a scientist who can explain everything
March, when they had run into the sea naked, plunging in to run out again immediately, laughing and waving arms in the scythe-like sweep of a north-east wind. But Phillip had bathed daily, his body was hardened, his skin pickled by salt. He sat there for an hour and more, until the waves were washing his toes. “Hi!” cried a voice. He turned and saw the woman with the girl standing at the edge of the sea, staring at him. “Hi!” He rolled sideways off the rock and swam underwater while breath
new generation, a new world—I’m part of the sad, frustrated old world. I’m rubbish.” “You’re not rubbish. Not with me, anyway.” “You’re a funny girl. How much do you really know, I wonder? The sun is shining—if you know that, you’ve got all the wisdom of the ages in your mind. Let’s go for a walk! I’m getting morbid!” “You’re not morbid. You think of me as a child, don’t you? So you don’t believe me.” She was by his side, waiting. “Now, I think, a lesson in natural history. Let’s climb up