An Extract From Dead Ernest
The following is taken from the opening page of the novel:
BENTLEY Ernest. Husband of Annie and father of William (Billy) passed away suddenly on January 2nd 2004 aged 83. Funeral January 10th at 12.30p.m. at Great Mindon Crematorium. Family flowers only.
“What about beloved? Something liked that?” Billy asked, scrutinising Annie’s crabbed handwriting.
“Beloved? Beloved what?”
“You know. Beloved husband, much-loved father. That sort of thing.”
“Did you love your father, Billy?”
“Of course. Well, I suppose so. Yes, of course I did.”
“Well then. We can put much-loved father.”
“And husband? What about husband?”
“No,” said Annie. “Not beloved husband. Not any sort of husband.”
“But Mum!” Billy looked hurt, as though even now he were taking his father’s part. “You must. What will people think?”
“It doesn’t matter what people think,” said Annie firmly. “I know.”