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This is one of those off centre books that I love A interior journey for two unusual main characters that is very revealing for the reader as well Highly recommend. I bought this book because it was recommended by a columnist I like in the FT Susie Hoyt It is beautifully written, and very English A little like Anita Brookner, sort of soft and evocative But I prefer Brookner. `READ EPUB ☞ A Chance Acquaintance ☟ They sat at the table with cups of tea and digestive biscuits Stan smiled at her and couldn t stop himself from nodding and saying than once, This is the life, Elsie Each time she replied, It is, isn t it She was happy, telling him she d turned on the hot water and switched on the electricity at the fuse box Everything is in perfect working order, she saidA convicted murderer and a woman, shunned for her ugliness, meet by chance on a bus Stan, recently released from prison, works in a warehouse he tends to keep to himself, except for the odd thieving job As for Elsie, it is as if she hardly exists as a person at all Her mother tells her it s what lies underneath that matters, but Elsie knows those are just words People find her unbearable to look at Slowly, these two misfits are drawn together Stan, on the run from an ex con, asks Elsie for help They go to stay in her uncle s seaside cottage in Dorset, and, over the ensuing weeks, sharing the chores, tending the garden, they become at ease in each other s company two lonely souls playing at married life They befriend a child and her grandmother who live nearby But when Stan s pursuer closes in, things take a surprising turn A Chance Acquaintance is a beautifully crafted novel of reparative love Charles Chadwick hooks you from the first page and draws you inexorably in A master of emotional restraint, he evokes the precarious balance of comedy and melancholy at the heart of things, and the bewildering resilience of the human spirit