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V. Tamaso

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The Missus
by V. Tamaso   

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Books by V. Tamaso
· Out of My Mind
· Beyond Darkness
                >> View all



Publisher:  Xlibris ISBN-10:  1450023223 Type: 


Copyright:  Jan 2010 ISBN-13:  9781450023221

Barnes &
Xlibris Publishing

Second book in trilogy follows Sue and Bill through 30 years of marriage and also continues the lives of Sue's Brother-Uncles, Sister-Aunt and the indomitable Maggie.

‘Come on, Sue!  Let’s sit down,’ said Amy clearing away a pile of newspapers and magazines from the lounge and plumping up the cushions.  ‘How are you, love?  How’s married life?’

Sue blushed, her face radiant.  ‘Wonderful!  But guess what?’

‘You’re pregnant!’ laughed Amy.  ‘It’s written all over your face!’

‘Oh, gosh!  Is it really?  We want to keep it a secret for a while.  I haven’t even told Mum yet.  But I was going to tell you.  You won’t say anything, will you Amy?  Specially to those two up there?’ Sue nodded her head towards the neighbouring houses where Betty and Bessie lived.


‘You might as well tell them,’ laughed Amy.  ‘They’ve been betting on it for weeks.  Ever since you announced you were getting married in five days time.’ 

‘But they were wrong, weren’t they?  I wasn't pregnant then.  It’s only just happened.’

‘Well you’d just better hope it doesn't come early.  They’ll be counting the days.’

‘Let them!’ said Sue indignantly.  ‘Anyway, how are you?’

‘Oh, I’m all right, love.  Bit pukey in the mornings but not too bad.’

‘And Paddy?  How’s he?’

Amy raised her head and rolled her eyes.  ‘Up to as much mischief as ever.  Honestly, Sue!  I can’t keep up with him!  He’s into something every two minutes.  Just look at the place!’ She swept her hand around to indicate the general clutter of the room.  ‘You want to know what he did today?’ Sue nodded and Amy went on.  ‘He got into my grocery cupboard, pulled down a new pack of sugar and broke it all over the floor.  Then he piddled in it and sat down. I thought he was being too quiet.  So I went to investigate.  And there he was, the little bugger, eating it!’

Sue burst out laughing.

‘All very well for you to laugh,’ scolded Amy.  ‘Wait till it’s your turn.  You’ll laugh on the other side of your face then!’

Bill arrived back with the grog. He found some glasses among the dishes on the sink, rinsed them out and started pouring the drinks.

‘None for me, thanks, love!’ warned Sue.


‘Oh, come on, Sue!’ said Amy.  ‘Don’t be such a wowser!’ 

‘It’s not that,’ said Sue.  ‘I just don’t like the taste that’s all.  Gosh!  How could I be a wowser growing up in our house?  Mum was trying to get me to drink beer when I was only nine years old.’

‘Try this!’ said Bill passing over a glass of pale pink bubbly liquid.  ‘You’ll like it, I promise you.  It’s a shandy.  Lemonade with a dash of sherry.  Give it a go, love.’

‘Well, here’s looking at you!’ said Amy and they all clinked glasses.  ‘Here’s to us!  And a better bunch of bastards I’ve yet to see.’

‘I’ll drink to that!’ said Bill, swigging some down.  Sue tried hers and did the same.


Sue was miserable. Living with Bill was difficult now. Although still polite, he was cold and curt with her, speaking only when absolutely necessary and being very careful not to touch her apart from a perfunctory peck on the cheek when he left for work in the morning and another when he arrived home at night. Sue felt as if she was in disgrace but couldn’t work out why. Surely he wasn’t still angry with her over those few drinks with Amy? No, it was more likely that he was holding it against her that she hadn’t let him leave when he’d wanted to. Would she have to pay for that for the rest of her life?
Sue did everything she could to please him. She woke up at the baby’s first cry each morning, feeding him immediately so that his crying would not disturb Bill. After the feed and a nappy change she put the baby back in the pram and wheeled him outside into the fresh air. Then she roused Bill and, while he was shaving and getting ready for work, fried his eggs and made tea and toast, all on the little primus stove which saved the trouble of lighting the fuel stove so early in the day.
Bill gobbled his breakfast, gulped down his cup of tea, dropped the peck on her cheek and roared off to work without a smile or a single word other than a grunt or two at Sue’s attempt at conversation.
Most mornings she worked in the garden, carrying water from the creek to her plants, pulling weeds or turning over new soil, before the day became too hot to work outside. But sometimes she just went back to bed, curled up in a ball and cried, reminiscent of the little child who had sobbed out her sadness in the shelter of the Christmas bush clump. She wanted Bill’s love in the same way she had wanted her Daddy. But no! It was more than that. Now she not only wanted his love, she wanted his love-making. Her body ached with desire, trembled in anticipation of his touch and yearned for his closeness with the intensity of physical hunger.

Professional Reviews

The Missus
This dialogue-driven novel is the middle book in a trilogy based on the author's own life. It recounts a young Australian woman's blossoming sexuality and growing interest in spirituality, her husband's drinking and gambling problems, and her struggle to make sense of a complex family system. It is the latter that subdues my enthusiasm for this book because the reader is not given many clues as to who is who (mother? sister? father? uncle?) in the richness of story making. The explanations are there, but scattered throughout the book, and not early enough to get a firm grasp of things. The first book, 'Brothers? Uncles! Sister? Aunt' explains it all, but any reader should be able to pick up any book in a trilogy and get a sense of who is who, without having to read an earlier book.
Tamaso's skill as a writer - despite what I have just said - beckons the reader to return and return and return again to her text, for she is a consummate story teller. Each chapter, whether populated by the protagonist or one of her relatives, is beautifully crafted and very readable. Recommended.

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