top of page

Dinner at Rose's

Danielle Hawkins

Top 10 Best Quotes

“I woke up horribly early the next morning to the sound of some sadistic bastard operating an electric hedge-trimmer just outside the window. I lay for a while hoping this prat would be struck by lightning or washed away in a bizarre flash flood. Neither happened, so I groaned and rolled out of bed. My skull had shrunk so that my brain was in imminent danger of being squeezed out of my ears, my teeth seemed to be covered in wool and my tongue was far too big for my mouth.”

“He really is a first-class waste of space, isn't he ?" "Thank you" I said. It's nice when the people you love share your opinions. "You're welcome," Dad said. "And the cartwheels would seem to imply that the new model's a good thing ?" I looked at him with something close to shock. My father and I have a very satisfactory system in place, based on the unspoken agreement that I won't tell him about my love life and he won't ask. All that sort of carry-on is Mum's department, and she advises Dad on a need-to-know basis. "Um, yes," I said. "Very good," said Dad and, clearly appalled at having strayed so far into this emotional minefield, he began to brush his teeth with most unnecessary vigour.”

“We didn't, after all, sing "Another One Bites The Dust" as the coffin was carried out; Hazel and the vicar had settled instead on the more traditional "How Great Thou Art". And Aunty Rose's old adversary the mayor was pressed into service as a coffin bearer to replace Matt. Rose Adele Thornton, born in Bath, England, died in Waimanu, New Zealand, a mere fifty-three years later. Adept and compassionate nurse, fervent advocate of animal welfare, champion of correct diction and tireless crusader against the misuse of apostrophes. Experimental chef, peerless aunt, brave sufferer and true friend. She had the grace and courage to thoroughly enjoy a life which denied her everything she most wanted. The bravest woman I ever knew.”

“I continued past the door of the Pink Room to look round her door. She was propped on her pillows with The Sentimental Bloke and Persuasion beside her on the covers and a torrid bodice-ripper in her hands. Nice Marty Holden from the Book Exchange had been bringing romance novels by the boxful and she was getting through two a day, switching to Jane Austen when her brain needed decontaminating.”

“I briefly considered bashing her to death with the soup ladle before reluctantly deciding that, as satisfying as that would be, it probably wasn't worth spending the next thirty years in prison. Instead I picked up the phone and went down the hall to my tiny toom, vindictively switching on every light as I went.”

“Aunty Rose's scones were small windowless buildings - if you could manage to worry one down it sat and sulked at the bottom of your stomach for hours, impervious to the processes of digestion. I giggled, and she said haughtily, "My scones are very nice." "We could bury you with a batch," I suggested as we went slowly back down the hall. "And if archaeologists opened your grave thousands of years in the future they'd find them there, just as good as on the day they were cooked." "Ill mannered wench," Aunty Rose said. She sank onto the edge of her bed and reached up to touch my cheek as he had Matt's. "I'm glad the pair of you finally sorted yourselves out." I smiled at her. "You sorted us out, didn't you ?" "I swore I wouldn't interfere, but I couldn't stand it any longer." "Thank-you," I said soberly. "You're welcome. Honestly, Josephine, for an intelligent girl you can be appallingly dim at times. Couldn't you have fluttered your eyelashes at the poor boy ?”

“The words "when you're better" hung between us like smoke from a snuffed candle - what if she wasn't going to get better ? Well, she just had to. I got up and divided the remaining dregs of wine in the bottle between our glasses.”

“Percy had shrunk to the size of a chihuahua and was perched on the kitchen table watching me make a bacon and egg pie. I was trying to be surreptitious about the bacon but I could tell he,d noticed, which made conversation somewhat awkward.”

“I picked her up and carried her down the hall to the bathroom, just a pitiful skeleton with skin stretched over the top and a great red scar across her chest. She sank onto the plastic seat we had got from the hospital and closed her eyes as I washed her, leaning her poor bald head back exhaustedly against the back of the shower cubicle. "I'll just change the sheets," I said, "I won't be a minute - would you rather sit under the water, or shall I turn it off and wrap you up in a towel ?" "Under the water," she whispered. I had to strip the bed entirely, and two of the pillows were saturated. I replaced them with pillows from my bed, and while I was at it my duvet as well. Then I propped the poor woman up against the bathroom sink to dry and dress her, picked her up and carried her back to bed. Never have I been so grateful to be, after all, a strapping wench rather than a delicate wisp of a girl. As I pulled the covers up under her chin she opened her eyes, looked at me sternly and said with nearly her old decision, "This is not the way I wish to be remembered, Josephine." "I know," I whispered, the tears spilling unchecked down my cheeks. Nurses are supposed to be bright and matter-of-fact about these things: my bracing professional manner left a lot to be desired. "I'll get you some dinner." "No," she said. "Just my pills, love." Back in the kitchen I stood for a moment in a trance of indecision, wondering where the hell to start. It didn't really matter - when you're overcome with lethargy you just have to do something. And then the next thing, and then the next, and eventually, although you'd have sworn you were far too tired and depressed to accomplish anything, you're finished. I turned on the tap about the big concrete sink by the back door and began to scrub sheets and blankets.”

“He doesn't realise how much it hurts me when he's so curt," his mother said sorrowfully. "He doesn't mean it," I said. "It's just calving. I expect every dairy farmer in the country is being rude to his mother just now." "It's Rose, too," she told me. "He's such a dear boy Josie; it's tearing him apart to see her so unwell. Perhaps-" she paused and looked at me with a Madonna-like expression of patient and loving reproach - "perhaps it might help if you didn't expect him to dance attendance very spare minute, hmmm ?" My hand clenched on the handle of my fork as I considered throwing it at her like a spear. I've got pretty good aim - I'd probably be able to get her in the side of the head from here. But the consequences wouldn't be worth the fleeting satisfaction. I dropped my eyes to my plate and nodded. "You're a sweet girl. I know you don't mean to be selfish.”

Except where otherwise noted, all rights reserved to the author(s) of this book (mentioned above). The content of this page serves as promotional material only. If you enjoyed these quotes, you can support the author(s) by acquiring the full book from Amazon.

Book Keywords:

new-zealand, romance, chick-lit

bottom of page