The Fire-Dwellers by Margaret Laurence
Okay God, say what you like, but I damn well wish I could get away just sometimes by myself. But no. It's a criminal offense, nearly. What makes any of them think they've got the right to tell me, own me, always have me there.'
Stacey, aged thirty-nine, looks at the unmade bed, the pile of laundry - perhaps everything would be alright if she were better educated, or if she were beautiful, or slimmer? Her marriage has worn threadbare, the children are growing up, and beneath the suburban facade of salesman's wife and competent mother, Stacey questions herself and berates a Creator she trusts and doubts by turns. Feeling inadequate and rebellious, she retaliates by finding another, younger man. The excitement of the affair is palpable, but its benefits are short-lived; drink satisfies another kind of craving, but bottles run dry without offering a real solution. The only way Stacey can resolve her crisis is by understanding the woman she sees in the mirror... Written in Margaret Lawrence's original and distinctive style, this is a compassionate exploration of an all too familiar dilemma.