"Martha has responsibility for the book club and the author visits, and dresses like a gypsy. That's not a criticism, by the way. She puts tones and shades together that make you feel you've been seeing the world in black and white all your life.
In winter she's velvet and raw silk and wool. Have you ever seen raw silk? Just the sight of her coming through the door each day makes you want to jump up and wave your arms. I'd love to dress like that." Ruby works at the library. Shelving, mainly.
Not in the archive; that's Mrs Atkinson's magical white-gloved domain, where she stands watch over the historical photos and the special files of the lost boys who went to war. Ruby would like to work in the archive of course, but there's only one pair of white gloves-and anyway Martha's the one being groomed for greatness. Martha of the flamboyant bohemian style and russet-toned beauty. And the Affairs. Ruby can see the appeal of the Affairs; the heat, the danger. Ruby sees a lot, loitering there behind Geography 910, enough to worry her. Maybe even enough to bring her out of hiding. And that could be a problem, because everyone has history-especially someone who's trying to lose it. Helen Slavin brought the afterlife to life in her funny, quirky first novel, The Extra Large Medium. With The Stopping Place she takes her delicious observational humour into darker and more mysterious territory, with the harrowing story of a woman whose past has made her try to become invisible.