Chapter 2: Carole, Bummi, and LaTisha.
Fictional Carole's story caught me by surprise with its sort of duality—how it contained two things at war with each other in the same space— her privileged adult life with a pretty happy ending, loving mother and genuinely loving husband on one hand, and the violations she's endured, big and small, as an adult and as a child, and how hard she works to expunge thoughts that don't fit the life/ narrative she's built or simply don't serve her in it.
Like, for example, this section in which Carole is psyching herself up for an early morning meeting with a "new client based in Hong Kong whose net worth is multiple times the GDP of the world's poorest countries" but "can't help remembering all the little hurts":
she can’t help thinking about the customs officers who pull her over when she’s jetting the world looking as brief-cased and be-suited as all the other business people sailing through customs – un-harassed
oh to be one of the privileged of this world who take it for granted that it’s their right to surf the globe unhindered, unsuspected, respected
damn, damn, damn, as the escalator goes up, up, up
c’mon, delete all negative thoughts, Carole, release the past and look to the future with positivity and the lightness of a child unencumbered by emotional baggage
life is an adventure to be embraced with an open mind and loving heart
Also, that last sentence reminds me of another nice detail revealed just prior to this quote, that Carole's bookshelves are stacked with motivational books "ordered from America." She vows that the meeting will be "fan-bloody-tastic!" Just as the books say— "if you project a powerful person, you will attract respect."
She's retrained her mind with these self-help books. Or she's trying to. But it seems like a constant fight to keep reality at bay. Carole's story isn't as dramatic as some of the others in Girl, Woman, Other, and she isn't always entirely sympathetic. But she seemed really human to me and not just because of her name. ;)
Please note: All book links to Amazon on this site are affiliate ones. If you buy a book through those links, I will make a small amount of money on that sale, which comes out of the company’s profits. It does not change the cost of your purchase.