Lastly, on Birdsong.

     As she made coffee in the kitchen and tried to spoon the frozen ice cream from its carton without snapping the shaft of the spoon, Elizabeth was struck, not for the first time, by the thought that her life was entirely frivolous.

     It was a rush and slither of trivial crises; of uncertain cash flow, small triumphs, occasional sex, too many cigarettes; of missed deadlines that turned out not to matter; of arguments, new clothes, bursts of altruism, and sincere resolutions to address the important things. Of all these and the other experiences that made up her life, the most significant aspect was the one that suggested by the words “tuned out not to matter”. Although she was happy enough with what she had become, it was this continued sense of the easy, the inessential nature of what she did, that most irritated her.

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