Passage that is central to the novel

“She knew Paul D was adding something to her life – something she wanted to count on but was scared to. Now he had added more: new pictures and old rememorizes that broke her heart. Into the empty space of not knowing about Halle–a space sometimes colored with righteous resentment at what would have been his cowardice, or stupidity or bad luck–that empty place of no definite news was filled now with brand-new sorrow and who could tell how many more on the way. Years ago–when 124 was alive–she had women friends, men friends from all around to share grief with. Then there was no one, for they would not visit her while the baby ghost filled the house, and she returned their disapproval with the potent pride of the mistreated. But now there was someone to share it, and he had beat the spirit away the very day he entered her house and no sign of it since. A blessing, but in its place he brought another kind of haunting: Halle’s face smeared with butter and the clabber too; hos won mouth jammed full of iron, and lord knows what else he could tell her if he wanted to.”  Page 112, 3rd para.

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