The Ugly Sister’s Version

The Georgian House, Edinburgh

The big party tonight is all everyone talks about in our house. What to wear: the sparkly red shoes that pinch the toes or the green satin ones that slip off the heel? The salmon dress with maroon flounces or the yellow and lime green? Hair up with curly tendrils over the forehead or ringlets over the shoulder? Should George drive the coach alone in full livery or should Tom, his boy, be in attendance too, also in livery?

By everyone, I mean of course Mummy and Emelda, my older sister.

“But I want to stay home tonight,” I wail. I’m reading this terrific book about a man on a desert island, but I can’t tell Mummy that. She detests books.

“How will you find a husband if you stay at home?” Mummy asks, primping up the bow in my hair. I jerk my head away. I want to be in a shipwreck and washed up on a desert island, not find a husband.

Later I catch Freddie as he’s about to go into his study. Mummy snagged Freddie last summer. Just in time, according to Mummy’s financial advisor. I tell him about needing to stay home to read my book, hoping Continue reading